Prevention Specialist

My name is Cathy Rager. I have lived within the Township boundaries all of my life. I grew up in Hinsdale, attended local schools and raised my four children in Downers Grove, where I have lived happily for 28 years. I’ve been a prevention specialist with the Township of Downers Grove for almost eight years and have a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science. Previous to my work at the Township, I was in the retail grocery industry for over 25 years and a manager for fourteen. My skills from that industry run parallel to my position now: customer service, customer needs, and delivery of service in good faith by building relationships in the community.

As a prevention specialist, I work under a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services providing prevention information about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) to Burr Ridge Middle School (BRMS) and the local community. I teach a model program called Too Good for Drugs to the 6th and 7th grade students at BRMS. The curriculum allows for lecture, activities and discussion. It is all about engaging and challenging students to really think about what they do and what they want out of life. I enjoy watching students develop their reasoning abilities and life skills throughout my time with them. It is all about making good decisions and using strategies to resist peer pressure. Newsletters are sent to parents to keep them apprised of what we are doing in the program. I also have a communication campaign addressing ATOD prevention using, posters, flyers, websites etc. to get adults in the community on board with the latest updates available.

I recruit, train and coach 7th & 8th grader leaders to do peer mediation for conflict resolution at BRMS. We perform many role-plays in preparation for this activity. My “leaders” have community service opportunities throughout the year, and create a prevention play for Red Ribbon Week to be performed in front of the 5th grade students.

I am involved with a very active coalition of agencies, police, schools, property management, and others who are looking to promote “best practices” through their activities and programs. I enjoy my interaction with the communities I serve within our Township, and look forward to supporting youth, families, and other active residents through collaborative cooperation.

Phone: (630) 719-6686


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