Recap: Addiction in Youth Panel


On Thursday, February 15th, we hosted the first event of our 2018 Serve. Love. Grow. lecture series. Entitled “There is HOPE: Understanding and finding solutions for today’s alcohol and drug addicted youth. ”The panel featured influential members of the University High School (Austin’s only sober high school) community, which is mostly housed on UCC’s second floor. Funding for the program was provided by UCC’s Endowment for Creative Ministry.


Dr. Lori K. Holleran Steiker, Ph.D., ACSW kicked off the panel by giving an overview of the addiction epidemic. As a University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, she used her expertise to highlight red flags people should look for in teens and young adults that could indicate addiction. Dr. Holleran Steiker then outlined relevant and implementable solutions.


Next, we heard from Julie McElrath, LMSW, LCDC-I; Executive Director of University High School who spoke at length about the school. She specifically discussed the school’s peer-based recovery support program and how the staff works with students to help them through their recovery and academic journey.

Ms. McElrath summarized UHS’s mission saying, “The culture of UHS is one of loving accountability. It is important for the students and their families know their voice matters, they are heard, and we are here to help them on their journey through high school and beyond.”

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To conclude the event, we heard powerful testimonials from Peggy Robinson, a mother of a UHS student, and Boomer Mackay, a 17-year-old graduate of the program. And after the panel concluded, Spectrum News shared an inspiring clip of him.

University Christian Church named our 2018 lecture series Serve. Love. Grow. because together, these three verbs embody who we are as a church. The speakers series is being planned to exemplify the UCC mission to be a dynamic, inclusive community living out the love of Jesus Christ through thoughtful worship, compassionate service, and spiritual growth.

  • Serve: We are committed to serving our neighbors in the community by supporting local, denominational and global outreach ministries.
  • Love: As a welcoming and inclusive church, we seek to share the love of Jesus Christ with our fellow members and the greater community.
  • Grow: Our ultimate goal is to promote spiritual growth through progressive, thought-provoking sermons as well as a dynamic lecture series and group learning opportunities.

To learn more about this initiative or how to get involved with UCC, sign up for our newsletter below.


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