(Help Eliminate Adolescent Risk Taking)
Connor's HEART Program Components
Connor's HEART has four major program elements, each providing a critical service required to address adolescent risk taking. The underlying strategy is that achieving each program element supports successful achievement of the other program elements, i.e., Connor's HEART is an integrated strategy for addressing this pressing issue. The following is a brief description of each program element with more complete information provided in the business plan/organizational outline, which can be provided upon request.
Connor’s Coaches – Trains college age adults to be assets and guest speakers for middle and high school health educators and students. It will be the role of the Connor’s HEART to assimilate supplemental instructional materials that revolve around risky behaviors, provide training for Connor’s Coaches, contact schools systems to offer the service, and honor requests to provide the service free of charge. Our goal is to assist health educators and involve positive college age role models in the lives of adolescents.
The Informed Community – A series of public and private presentations and colloquia, aimed at educating parents, church groups, after school student and parent groups, Parent-Teacher organizations, law enforcement officers, school administrative teams, staff development activities for teachers, community therapists and doctors, other community leaders, and local government officials about risky adolescent behaviors occurring in their community and the consequences. Our goal is to educate and involve the community and raise awareness concerning the dangers facing adolescents and what needs to be accomplished in the community to reduce the risk.
Mandates and Money – is the part of Connor’s HEART that advocates for positive changes in education and public policies affecting adolescent risky behavior education initiatives. The Centers for Disease Control and international organizations such as the World Health Organization need to implement changes to disease codification systems so that accurate information can be collected about high-risk behaviors and the drivers of that behavior. Connor’s HEART will strive to recognize all stakeholders in the reduction of adolescent risk taking including those at the local, state, national, and global level. Whenever an issue is in question, at any level, that could have great impact on adolescent health, both in policy and funding, it will be the goal of Connor’s HEART to be a respected, independent source of information and a strong and vocal advocate for the needs of youth.
Evidence and Outcomes – is the research component of Connor’s HEART. Research is needed to identify the community and individual risk factors that correlate with risk taking so that accurate assessment and diagnostic instruments can be developed. The importance of constructing survey instruments, collecting accurate data, undertaking competent analyses, providing accurate information, and measuring progress cannot be overstated. Convincing policy makers and school systems of the importance of health education in this area can only be accomplished with substantiated research and an ability to correctly identify the key drivers of success. For our programs to succeed parents, children and others in the community are dependent on having high-quality information and metrics that can help them develop useful programs and assess progress.
A Letter from the Family
Connor Edward Galloway was born on December 19, 1994 in Hendersonville, NC. He was a loving son, grandson, brother and friend to all who know him. He loved history, football, and was in the academically gifted program. He was a member of Cullowhee Baptist Church. Connor was truly special to us and we miss him every single day.
We cannot truly describe how much Connor loved to study history. Is it normal for twelve year old children to have pictures of Abraham Lincoln and statues of Thomas Jefferson as the primary decoration for a bedroom? We didn’t know or care. We just loved the fact that he loved to learn. It was fascinating to watch how he took apart ideas and learned to communicate his thoughts on all issues he encountered.
Connor’s future was as bright as the smile behind those blue eyes. Our loss is deep and painful. It is also something we share with all around us because Connor had the potential to be a wonderful and powerful leader and servant in his community. He loved people and wanted to see the best in others.
We cannot let his death have no positive consequence for the rest of us. He would want a lesson to be learned. He would be so frustrated with all of us if we did not try to make a positive social change as a result of a terribly negative event.
When we found Connor hanging in his bedroom, our world ended in many respects. For the rest of our lives we will deal with a pain and loss that is not unique but is ours alone to bear. It does not have to be that way for other families. We honor our son, Connor Edward Galloway, with our efforts.
The Galloway Family
Dale, Michele, and Aidan