01/09/2013 02:57 pm ET Updated Mar 10, 2013

Optimistic Cautionary Tales/AAR

These optimistic cautionary tales are completion stories from our simple, yet sophisticated Angels at Risk drug and alcohol prevention education programs and services for kids and their parents. They are authentic, handwritten stories from the heart and they are untainted, they are true stories. We hope you like them.

Angels at Risk is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping teenagers and their families at risk for drug and alcohol use and abuse. Angels at Risk believes that when the issue of addiction is addressed very early on in life that the future of teenagers, kids and their families can be changed forever. We know that by embracing the teenager's struggle that the entire family is given the gift to heal and grow together. We believe that teenage drug and alcohol use and abuse can be stopped through love. By honoring and supporting honest communication, connection and commitment on a parent to parent, teen to teen, and parent to teen level families and communities can be restored. We know that when parents and teens share together and help each other, healing occurs in their hearts and their lives.

The story of Angels at Risk's free primary program from which these completion stories are taken is basically that we are a school based rolling 6-12 week program that meets only for two hours, once a week, at 6 p.m. and is motivated by love. It is available and open to everyone. We have counselors for teens, and counselors for parents. We use notes from the heart as our education tool, and we also use storytelling and other cutting edge curriculum to teach parents and kids about the perils of drug and alcohol use and abuse. We are open to all schools public and private, all families, all parents, any community agencies, any local courts, local police departments, or self referring is an option. For 16 years we have been open to all of these places from Inglewood to Malibu.

The notes from the heart create an emotional experience and a shift in the heart for kids and their families unlike other programs that impart intellectual information.

Our goal is to create a snapshot and a memory that will carry families through, both in the short-term crisis and to support long-term stability.

Angels at Risk is a safety net catching kids and families from all backgrounds, rich and poor, before they fall through the cracks and for many, Angels at Risk's free services are the only option they will have for any kind of help.

What is evidenced in these optimistic cautionary tales, these final completion assignments is that when asked what families and kids learned and what shifted in their hearts, is that each family and child found a new place to start, a new beginning, an illumination and a optimistic way to carry them through.

What we know is damage control works in the kindest of ways and in every fairytale, fable and story, its community of heart that saves the day. Angels at Risk is the starting point, it is the beginning for families to find their way.

By Susie Spain, founder

Optimistic Cautionary Tales by Susie Spain on Behalf of Angels at Risk