Who We Are

Here’s What We’re All About

Connect Evergreen exists to increase community collaboration and awareness to prevent youth substance abuse in the community served by Evergreen Public Schools. We envision a healthy, thriving, and resilient community free of the effects of substance abuse.

These things are really important to us:

  • We Value Real Voices.
    Those who challenge our perceptions and experiences are as valuable as our own.
  • We Value Real Support.
    Youth have told us they need support that is more than words or sentiment
  • We Value Real Connection.
    Connection is the best prevention, and we want youth to know where to plug in, who they can trust, and how to get help when life gets hard

This is how we operate:

  • We’re Youth Led.
    Youth leadership and presence is imperative at every level of our work. We seek out and honor youth voice in decision-making, messaging, and implementation of all of our work.
  • We’re Data-Driven.
    We gather data on local conditions so our community can make the best decisions about how to protect and support youth.
  • We’re Inclusive.
    We strongly advocate that people do not have to be against legal substance use to support youth prevention. There is room at the table for diverse perspectives and the vast variety lived experiences in our families and community.
  • We’re Connected.
    Connection is the BEST prevention, not just for youth substance use, but for many of the unhealthy patterns and behaviors that can harm young people.
  • We’re Trauma-Informed.
    Building capacity for coping and resilience protects youth. We use a trauma lens to communicate with compassion and intention, because we know everyone has had experiences that shape their perception and behaviors.

We Work With

Evergreen Public Schools

Evergreen Public Schools emphasizes personalized learning, collaborative instruction, and graduation attainment for all students.

Evergreen Public Schools is the largest school district in Southwest Washington, and has more than 26,000 students attending 35 schools and supported by 3200 staff. This growing population is increasingly diverse: more than one in three participate in free or reduced lunch programs; one in four students is an ethnic minority, one in eight require special education and one in twelve need transitional language support for English as there are 52 languages spoken within the district.

You can learn more about Evergreen Public schools at www.evergreenps.org

These Are the Partners Who Help Us

Connect Evergreen depends on local prevention coalitions and community partners to be more effective in our work. This network strengthens our influence.

Local Prevention Coalitions


Community and Business Partners


Here’s How We’re Funded

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Grant

The Drug-Free Communities Support Program (DFC) is a Federal grant program that provides funding to community-based coalitions that organize to prevent youth substance use.  Since the passage of the DFC Act in 1997, the DFC Program has funded more than 2,000 coalitions and currently mobilizes nearly 9,000 community volunteers across the country. The philosophy behind the DFC Program is that local drug problems require local solutions.  With a small Federal investment, the DFC Program doubles the amount of funding through the DFC Program’s match requirement, to address youth substance use.  Recent evaluation data indicate that where DFC dollars are invested, youth substance use is lower.  Over the life of the DFC Program, youth living in DFC communities have experienced reductions in alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.

Our Leadership

Gail Spolar

Gail Spolar

Project Director

Christie Brownsilva

Christie Brownsilva

Chair, Steering Committee
Sector Representative, Parents

Missy Cummins

Missy Cummins

Sector Representative, Youth Serving Organizations
Co-Chair, Illuminate Workgroup

Will Jacobson

Will Jacobson

Steering Committee
Co-Chair, Illuminate Workgroup

Shane Gardner

Shane Gardner

Sector Representative, Schools
Co-Chair, Advocate Workgroup

Tonya Miles

Tonya Miles

Steering Committee
Member, Communicate Workgroup