Cynthia Schaider is the Executive Director of the Casa Grande Alliance, a community-based drug abuse prevention coalition. The coalition provides a framework for organizations, families and individuals to address substance abuse issues in their community. Each year the coalition directly contacts more than 20,000 people with their prevention materials and messaging. Through the provision of prevention education and awareness, their organization has significantly reduced underage drinking and drug use among youth in Casa Grande, Arizona. Since 2004, binge underage drinking is down 13%, marijuana use is down 15%, and methamphetamine use has reduced 88%.
Casa Grande is located in one of the primary drug trafficking corridors in the United States. Aggressive local and national law enforcement efforts result in almost daily seizures of marijuana and other illegal drugs from international drug cartels. These activities highlight the importance of the coalition’s work to reduce the demand for illegal drugs.
Schaider and the Casa Grande Alliance have mentored the growth and development of five
coalitions in their county, and Schaider trains coalitions across Arizona.
Schaider has written over $9 million worth of successful grants. Internationally, she worked with members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in community development techniques during their transition from the Royal Ulster Constabulary. She was appointed by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors as the County’s representative to the Arizona Meth Project Advisory Board, and sits on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s Communities Preventing Substance Abuse Committee.
Casa Grande Alliance is a recipient of a White House Drug Policy Drug Free Communities Program grant. The Alliance also received training from ONDCP on how to use the White House Drug Policy anti-drug media campaign and related materials in their local community. In so doing, they reached thousands in the community to promote drug-free choices for youth.