StandUP AJ Coalition members work tirelessly on a day in day out basis to reduce substance use in Apache Junction across all ages of the community in many different ways.  It's time these warriors get some time in the Spotlight!  Introducing our new Member Spotlight feature!  Each month we will recognize the efforts of one of our coalition members or partner organizations to show our appreciation for their efforts toward building bright futures for all in AJ!  


We will be focusing on the Seven Strategies for Community Change for this feature, however, members do far more than just these 7 things so this is not an exhaustive list of efforts we may recognize.

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StandUP AJ would like to present...

Melissa McKinney

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Melissa McKinney has been such a wonderful addition to StandUP AJ!  She has lots of ideas for connecting with youth and has volunteered to obtain training for Too Good for Drugs High School which will be offered to high schoolers in AJ throughout the school year!

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What do you think has been the key to your success?

  • I try to always show compassion, empathy, and see situations from others point of views.

  • I naturally am solution- focused vs. problem-focused

  • I question everything if I do not understand.

  • I try to learn something new every day and am a strong supporter of continued education.

  • I am always looking to build relationships and networking.

What message do you have for adults or youth who may be struggling with things right now?

First, ask if the person wants comfort or solutions. If comfort is the answer, then through active listening, without judgement, in a “meet me where I’m at style” I would build a rapport. If solutions is the answer, through motivational interviewing, I would help the person create attainable, realistic, short-term goals and assist the person in developing a plan to achieve these goals.