Talk It Out Tuesday

We’re so excited to announce the continuation of our collaborative Talk It Out Tuesday series!

As part of the Talk It Out Tuesday series, featured speakers will discuss strategies and research about preventing underage drinking. Our speakers join us from a variety of backgrounds and professional fields, and we appreciate their input and help in reaching our goal to stop underage drinking in North Carolina!

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming events in our Talk It Out Tuesday series!

Kurtis Taylor

Talk it Out NC Ambassador

December 13th, 2022 @ 11:00 AM

A Story: Alcohol Misuse, Recovery, and Inspiration


Summary of the presentation: 

 In this session, Kurtis Taylor recounts his journey to recovery. Ripped from the pages of his own life and struggles others in recovery have faced, Taylor shows the need for prevention first. For nearly two decades Taylor has been in recovery, meaning he has not had alcohol or used any other substance since December 23rd, 2002. In this touching talk, just ten days before his recovery anniversary, Taylor looks back on his life before, during, and after alcohol misuse—the thread that weaves them together and the sharp moments that lead to positive changes in his life. With his personal story, Taylor hopes to inspire others to Start Conversations with teens and prevent alcohol misuse before it begins.

Hector Mendoza

Recovery Coach and Bi-Lingual Resource Specialist 

4 de Octubre de 2022 a las 11:00 a.m. / October 4, 2022 at 11:00 AM 

La Ciencia de la Adiccion / The Science of Addiction


Please note that this Talk It Out Tuesday will be presented in Spanish.

Summary of the presentation: 

Entendiendo la adicción: el proceso de la adiccion en el cerebro y la recuperación para el individuo y su familia,” explicados de una manera simple y práctica de la enfermedad. 

Understanding addiction: The process of addiction in the brain and the recovery for both the individual and family, and a simple and practical explanation of the disease.

Descripción del presentador:

Héctor Mendoza ha trabajado en prevención desde que llegó a los Estados Unidos desde Perú hace casi 30 años. Su enfoque en la prevención en las comunidades de habla hispana lo ha llevado por todo el estado de Carolina del Norte. Desde las montañas hasta Piedmont y la costa, trabaja incansablemente para difundir el mensaje de Talk It Out en las comunidades de todo el estado. Héctor también trabaja con el consejo de alcohol y drogas de la NC (Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina), donde ha sido una parte fundamental de sus esfuerzos de prevención durante más de una década. Dijo que su objetivo es conectar e impactar a las personas en la Carolina del Norte mientras les brinda la información que necesitan para tomar las decisiones correctas. Héctor cree que con la información correcta, las familias pueden aprender dónde buscar respuestas y encontrar soluciones sobre cómo pueden abordar el problema del consumo de alcohol y abuso de sustancias por parte de menores en Carolina del Norte. 

About the Presenter: 

Hector Mendoza has worked in prevention ever since arriving in the U.S. from Peru almost 30 years ago. His focus on prevention in Spanish-speaking communities has taken him across the state of North Carolina. From the mountains to the Piedmont and to the coast, he works tirelessly to spread the message of Talk It Out in communities across the state. Hector also works with the Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina, where he has been a pivotal part of its prevention efforts for over a decade. He said that his goal is to connect and impact people across North Carolina while providing them with the information they need to make the right decisions. Hector believes that with the right information, families can learn where to look for answers and find solutions to how they can tackle the problem of underage drinking and substance misuse in North Carolina.

Dr. Wanda Boone CEO/Founder of Together for Resilient Youth

August 23rd at 12:00 p.m.

Bridging the Divide to Talk it Out


In this session Dr. Wanda Boone, along with guests Nancy Rosales (Mom) and Nathalia Rosales (Daughter) discussed communication challenges and successes. Dr. Boone described how stress can disrupt the best communication plans and demonstrated the communication styles that she describes as The Highway and The Sandwich.

Presenter Description

Dr. Wanda Boone founded Together for Resilient Youth (TRY) in 2000 after 20 years in the corporate sector. TRY, based in Durham, now has a presence across NC, the US and internationally in Kenya, the UK and Australia.

Dr. Boone is a forerunner and recognized as an expert in the field of Resilience/Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma. She believes that children thrive when the adults that surround them are well and do well.

She is a guest speaker and technical advisor on Prevention structures, Trauma, Resilience, Racial Inequities, Social Determinants of Health, Behavioral Health Disparities, COVID-19 and Vaccine Equity and more.

TRY connects the dots linking the public health model, trauma informed care and transformative prevention.

Dr. Boone is a member of the NC Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience Advisory Board, Health and Safety Chair of the Durham City/County Task Force and served as the Co-Chair of the National Institute of Medicine Healthy NC 2030 Social and Economic Factors work group focusing on the impact of trauma and the importance of resilience. She is a RN, Sr. RA, Duke University Medical Center and holds a Masters and PhD in Theology and Public Health.

Sen. Natalie Murdock North Carolina State Senator for District 20

August 9th at 11:00 a.m.

Drinking and College Life 


As college students prepare to head back to school, we will have a discussion about ways they can avoid underage drinking.

Presenter Description

As a native North Carolinian, UNC alum, and local elected official, Natalie has spent a lifetime learning about the strengths and challenges of North Carolina. With over a decade of work experience in transportation, economic development and government affairs, Natalie entered the public realm as a locally elected official. Now, she is the NC State Senator for District 20, which encompasses Durham County, following an appointment from Governor Cooper in April 2019. She is the first woman of color under 40 to be elected to the NCGA and was elected in 2020 earning over 100 thousand votes. She is dedicated to pursuing a progressive agenda that will transform the lives of hardworking North Carolinians.

Senator Murdock has over 10 years of experience in government affairs, transportation, agriculture, environmental affairs, and economic development. She has served in a multitude of positions within the North Carolina government, with her most recent roles being as Deputy Director of Communication for the NC Department of Justice and served on the NC Biden-Harris 2020 campaign.  Not only that, but she has been very involved in the Durham Democratic Party, most recently serving as the 1st Vice Chair.  She also is the Principal and Owner of Murdock Anderson Consulting, where she helps companies and nonprofits shape their voice and brand.

Senator Murdock is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

Pablo Silva

LCAS and MCAP Certified Substance Use Counselor

El 26 de julio de 2022 a las 2:00 P.M. / July 26th at 2:00 p.m.

Reconociendo las señales tempranas / Recognizing the Early Signs


Please note that this Talk It Out Tuesday will be presented in Spanish.

“Reconociendo las señales tempranas” es un seminario en línea diseñado para reconocer las primeras señales que los jóvenes demuestran al comenzar a usar alcohol u otras sustancias ilícitas. En esta presentación, aprenderemos cómo identificar factores de riesgo, los cuales incluyen cambios en compartamiento y cambios físicos. Después, revisaremos los factores de protección que tenemos para ayudar a los jóvenes a nuestro alrededor. Este taller es recomendado para padres y personas adultas que trabajan con niños y adolescentes.

Descripción del presentador

Pablo Silva Ortiz nació y creció en Puerto Rico y se trasladó a los Estados Unidos hace cinco años. Pablo se dedicó a convertirse en Consejero de Uso de Sustancias para ayudar a las personas que están padeciendo de esta enfermedad. A lo largo de toda su carrera, Pablo ha visto de primera mano el daño que puede causar la adicción a las drogas. En Puerto Rico, él tenía la oportunidad de trabajar para un hogar sustituto, donde pudo constatar los efectos negativos del consumo de drogas en la familia y el daño que causa a los niños y jóvenes. En Florida, él trabajaba como Asesor, Terapeuta Ambulatorio, y Terapeuta Primario en el Programa de Uso de Sustancias y Consejero de Uso de Sustancias en una Clínica de Metadona.

Sus logros académicos incluyen los siguientes un Grado Asociado en Tecnología Electrónica, una Licenciatura en Administración de Empresas y una Maestría en Consejería en Psicología. Además, tiene las certificaciones LCAS para el Estado de la Carolina del Norte y MCAP para el estado de Florida y además la Licencia de Consejero Cristiano de USACCCA.

Actualmente, Pablo trabaja para la Clínica El Futuro, en el condado de Durham, tratando a hispanos en el área del uso de sustancias. Es su deseo trabajar en la prevención para ayudar a los niños y jóvenes a evitar la enfermedad del consumo de drogas o alcohol, y de esta manera ayudar a las familias hispanas a alcanzar sus sueños.


“Recognizing the Early Signs” is a webinar designed to help recognize the first signs that young people show when they start using alcohol or other illicit substances. This presentation will teach you how to identify risk factors and detect behavioral or physical changes. After discussing these issues, we will review what protective factors are available to help the young people in your life. This workshop is recommended for parents as well as adults who work with youth and adolescents.

Presenter Description

Pablo Silva Ortiz, was born and raised in Puerto Rico and moved to the United States five years ago. Pablo chose to become a Substance Use Counselor to help people who are suffering from substance misuse. Throughout his work experience, Pablo has been able to witness the damage that drug addiction can cause. In Puerto Rico, he had the opportunity to work for a foster home, where he was able to directly see the negative effects of drug use for families and the damage caused to the children. In Florida, he worked as an Assessor, Outpatient Therapist, and Primary Therapist in the Substance Use Program and as a Substance Use Counselor in a Methadone Clinic.

Pablo’s academic achievements include an Associate Degree in Electronic Technology, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Master of Counseling in Psychology. Additionally, he has earned the LCAS certifications for North Carolina, the MCAP credentials for Florida, as well as the USACCCA’S Christian Counselor License.

Currently, Pablo works for the El Futuro Clinic in Durham County, where he is treating Hispanics in the area of Substance Use. It is Pablo’s desire to work in prevention to help children and young people avoid the disease of drug or alcohol use and help Hispanic families achieve their aspirations.

Rodney Poole
Education Outreach Program Coordinator for the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission

July 5th at 1:00 p.m.

Underage Drinking: Myth vs. Facts Risks and Protective Factors


Teens are being inundated with information. Social media, television commercials, shows, news, songs, movies and word of mouth. Some of the information is correct and some is way off!! Some of the information is to inform and some is to entertain. We will look at some of the myths and half truths about underage drinking as well as what the current research has shown. After considering the myths, facts and risk factors, we will discuss protective factors that have been shown to reduce the likelihood that a young person starts drinking alcohol or continues into high risk alcohol consumption.

Presenter Description
Rodney Poole is an internationally known substance misuse prevention educator with ten years of providing drug prevention education. Rodney’s prevention work has taken him to some of the best schools in Dubai, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand, India and all over the US. He is currently the Program Coordinator of the education outreach division of the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. He is a former collegiate athlete, middle school special education teacher and track and field coach. Rodney is a graduate of Shaw University here in North Carolina and he is extremely passionate about making a positive impact in the lives of young people and their families Not only has Rodney been a person in long term, continual recovery for the past thirty years, he is a devoted and loving husband, a fitness enthusiast and enjoys teaching, traveling, and experiencing the many cultures of the world.

Aaron Medina
North Carolina State Coordinator for SADD

June 28th at 3:00 p.m.

“Understanding Your Reason” Peer Pressure


“Understanding Your Reason” is a workshop designed to help students use education and personal values to overcome the pressures to drink underage. Featuring a panel of Students Against Destructive Decisions members, we will discuss what influences today’s students to use alcohol and how they can overcome these risks. Lastly, we will share our recommendations for families to prepare their students to feel empowered to make safe decisions during moments of peer pressure.

Presenter Description
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is a non-profit dedicated to enhancing student wellness by advocating positive decision-making. What started as a student club to discourage driving drunk has evolved into a national network of community and school-based Chapters that provide students the education and experience to overcome the risks they face. Families learn how to access our programming with initiatives ranging from mental health to traffic safety at sadd.org. Aaron Medina is the North Carolina State Coordinator for SADD. With support from the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program, Aaron creates and assists Chapters across all one hundred counties. His workshops involve using leadership development lessons to motivate students to make constructive decisions, both in school and in life.

Special Agent Erin Bean
Alcohol Law Enforcement

June 21st at 2:00 p.m.

Ask the Officer-Open Conversation with Alcohol Law Enforcement


The webinar will provide a free space to have an interactive conversation with law enforcement without any retaliatory consequences. You bring your questions like ‘what happens if I get caught drinking underage?’

Presenter Description
After graduating in 2014 with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wingate University, Erin wanted a career that incorporated her heart for people and connection, with her desire to serve her community. The summer after graduation, she decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. In June 2015, after completing Basic Law Enforcement Training, she was hired by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, where she was a deputy until 2017 when she applied with North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement. Erin completed the 20-week ALE special agent academy and was assigned to the Southeastern ALE District, where she has worked as a field agent and ALE’s public information officer. In March 2022, Erin was transferred to ALE headquarters in Raleigh where she serves as the public information officer full time. When she’s not at work, Erin enjoys spending time outside with her two dogs and riding her horse, Grace.

Tamra Jo Church
MAEd, MCHES®, Certified CRM Teacher
faculty member at East Carolina University in the Department of Health Education and Promotion; Talk It Out Ambassador 

June 7th at 12:30 p.m.

 Strengthening Families To Support Youth Resilience 


This panel discussion will be an open dialog about supporting positive home environments to raise resilient and thriving youth in an effort to prevent underage drinking. The panelists, Tamra Church, Tocarra Osborne, Dr. Jennifer Matthews, and Nicole Augustine, will discuss practical tools to build parental resilience to manage day-to-day stressors and stay regulated, with the goal of being our best selves.

Presenter Description
Tamra Jo Church, MAEd, MCHES®, Certified CRM Teacher, is a faculty member at East Carolina University in the Department of Health Education and Promotion, and the Talk It Out NC Ambassador for Eastern North Carolina. She is a Certified Community Resiliency Model (CRM)® Teacher, CATCH® My Breath Community Trainer, Community Action Poverty Simulation Facilitator, Youth Mental Health First Aider, and is trained in the Strengthening FamiliesTM Protective Factors Framework. Ms. Church is the Chair and Executive Director of the Coastal Coalition for Substance Awareness & Prevention (CCSAP), a five-county coalition in Central Eastern NC focused on youth substance use prevention and leads the CCSAP Resilience Collaborative to buffer ACEs and build community resilience. She serves on the Coordinating Team for the Resilient North Carolina Collaborative Coalition (RNCCC) and is a member of RNCCC, Pitt County’s BRACE (Building Resilience and Courage to Excel), and Colleges and Universities for Resilience (CURE).

Ty Lautenschlager
CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow
NC Division of Public Heath’s Injury and Violence Prevention

May 24th at 12:00 p.m.

Alcohol Use, Risks, And Related Harms To Underage Drinkers And Adults In North Carolina 


Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading preventable cause of death in North Carolina, yet consumption has been continuously rising over the last 10 years. Join us to learn about excessive drinking (underage, binge, and heavy drinking), public health surveillance efforts, alcohol consumption data collected from youth and adult health behavior surveys, and the harms that come with excessive drinking.

Presenter Description

Ty Lautenschlager, MPH is a CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow, who started her placement with the NC Division of Public Heath’s Injury and Violence Prevention in August of 2021 after graduating from The Ohio State University. She works on many projects focusing on overdose and alcohol surveillance, as well as other injury topics such as falls, firearm deaths, motor vehicle traffic and suicides. As of late, she helped work on Governor Roy Cooper’s Alcohol Awareness Month Proclamation, has been working to compile information to update North Carolina’s alcohol data dashboard, and recently updated Alcohol Related Death Impact (ARDI) numbers for the state. For additional resources, please visit the NCDHHS website.

For additional resources, please visit the NCDHHS website

Joe Marks

Talk It Out NC Ambassador

April 19th at 12:00 p.m.

Finding the Road to Recovery – The Importance of Prevention


Presenter Description                                                                               Joe grew up in a culture in which alcohol was glorified. His mother had the disease of addiction, by misusing alcohol, and his father suffered from untreated PTSD, self-medicating with alcohol. Drinking in the household was daily and mostly heavy. Being in long-term recovery himself, Joe has a unique perspective that he has been able to incorporate into his work for years operating a halfway house and later working with coalitions. Joe considers anything he can do to prevent someone going into addiction is not just one life saved, but many; because of the impact addiction has on families, friends, and communities. Joe believes that giving youth and young adults the chance to make the right decision is an obligation we all have and working with Talk It Out allows him to do just that. Joe is excited to nurture the relationships already established in his region and continue to make connections with other coalitions to encourage all to work together on the same mission. Joe knows that the conversation about underage drinking is not always a comfortable conversation, but it is one that is critical in impacting a child’s life.

Dr. Wanda Boone   CEO/Founder of Together for Resilient Youth

April 19th at 12:00 p.m.

Raising Resilient Children


Presenter Description
Dr. Wanda Boone founded Together for Resilient Youth (TRY) in 2000 after 20 years in the corporate sector. TRY, based in Durham, now has a presence across NC, the US and internationally in Kenya, the UK and Australia.

Dr. Boone is a forerunner and recognized as an expert in the field of Resilience/Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma. She believes that children thrive when the adults that surround them are well and do well.

She is a guest speaker and technical advisor on Prevention structures, Trauma, Resilience, Racial Inequities, Social Determinants of Health, Behavioral Health Disparities, COVID-19 and Vaccine Equity and more.

TRY connects the dots linking the public health model, trauma informed care and transformative prevention.

Dr. Boone is a member of the NC Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience Advisory Board, Health and Safety Chair of the Durham City/County Task Force and served as the Co-Chair of the National Institute of Medicine Healthy NC 2030 Social and Economic Factors work group focusing on the impact of trauma and the importance of resilience. She is a RN, Sr. RA, Duke University Medical Center and holds a Masters and PhD in Theology and Public Health.

Nicole Augustine
Talk It Out NC Ambassador
CEO/Founder of RIZE Consultants

March 15th at 10:00 a.m.

Developing Student Leadership to Support Underage Drinking Prevention


This session highlighted a new initiative co-sponsored by Talk It Out NC. In August 2021, The HBCU Collaborative Network received its first grant to develop a federal work study internship at three HBCUs in the state of North Carolina: FSU, Bennett College, and NC A&T. This project will provide an opportunity for college students to learn about prevention science, and to learn the skills of resilience. This session explored the role of HBCUs in improving health outcomes for college students, while also creating leadership opportunities for those interested in behavioral health sciences.

Presenter Description                                                                              Nicole Augustine has been involved with substance-use prevention work since she was introduced to public health in college. She is currently on the board of PTTC (Prevention Technology Training Center), creating resources for prevention specialists to equip them with the tools they need to be successful. Nicole wants to unite coalitions and other community groups across the state to work together to stop underage drinking. She believes the key is focusing on parents as gatekeepers and pushing them to be positive role models with youth while providing them with resources to start those important conversations. The science behind underage drinking and the lasting effects it can have are often not used as much in these conversations. Nicole knows the climate of alcohol is ever-changing, and because of that, it’s important to continue to provide good information and resources to parents, schools, and community groups.

Supplemental Talk It Out Tuesday Resources

Education & Prevention Resources