Mythbuster: Bailey Eschmann
Why I think it is important for Kansas government officials to operate in the light of day, rather than in secret, behind closed doors:
A founder of a local youth action team and active awareness-raiser.
Bailey has been part of the Marathon County Alcohol & Other Drug (AOD) Partnership since 2011. As a freshman with the Enrich, Excel, Achieve Charter School, she became one of the elite ambassadors for her fellow classmates and served two one-year terms as a youth member of its Board of Directors.
On more than one occasion, Bailey has lead efforts to engage not only her peers but also the greater community in coalition initiatives such as Kick Butts Day, Pushback Against Drug Abuse, The Real Happy Hour, and Parents Who Host Lose the Most.
Following her final term, she became one of the founders of the Youth4Youth Action Team, which was expanded to include all the charter schools in the Wausau Metro Area (comprising five municipalities).
Her nominator, Melissa Dotter of the Marathon County Alcohol & Other Drug Partnership, says there are two specific examples of Bailey’s work, both of which took place in the summer of 2013:
- The AOD Partnership was invited to participate in an annual Chalkfest, where people from all over central Wisconsin gather to create works of art. Bailey was one of the youth that volunteered to help with the artwork, but she went above and beyond to explain to passerbys why it is so important that people join the coalition and support our initiatives.
- At another point last summer, she was the opening speaker at a community press conference on a public outdoor stage in front of 100 people to read a poem titled, “ I am Heroin.”
- “Even though Bailey was a bit uncomfortable with public speaking, she did a great job at engaging the audience. She knocked it out of the park and moved people to join the Pushback initiative,” says Dotter.
Bailey is now approaching early graduation and is starting classes at a local two-year college, yet she remains a very active member working to bring Youth4Youth to a new venue.
She is an ambassador for the cause, working hard to bring attention to the negative impact that alcohol and other drugs have on her local community, and instill hope that her generation is very much a part of the solution.