About One Great River
One Great River of Louisiana (formerly Mothers Against Drugs) has been a pioneer in developing innovative programs to promote health and prevent risk behaviors among youth in northwest Louisiana since 1981. Engaging youth in experiential education, in outdoor adventure settings, is a key program strategy; as is inclusion of youth, from culturally diverse populations.
In 1991, we combined our prevention education, parenting and wilderness experience programs and established One Great River. We have operated under the One Great River name since that time.
In 1998, One Great River won the competitive, National Exemplary Prevention Program Award, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This award recognized One Great River as being among the most promising prevention programs in our nation.
Over the years, we have continued to “fine-tune” the One Great River program and have achieved consistent positive results. Outcomes data show that One Great River youth participants adopt active lifestyles, healthy diet, avoid risk behaviors, such as tobacco use, and make a successful transition from school-to-work and school-to-college.
A longitudinal study conducted in 2005 by Bach Harrison, LLC, showed that the adoption of active, healthy life styles continued among One Great River project alumnae into their young adult years, including satisfying, positive family relationships and friendships.
Pre and posttest fitness assessments of participants in the pilot One Great River Health Trekker Challenge, conducted by Louisiana State University Shreveport’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, demonstrated that youth participants decreased body fat and increased lean muscle tissue, aerobic capacity and muscle strength.
One Great River is currently developing an integrated approach to the prevention of obesity and illicit substance use among children and youth. Our historical commitment to inclusion of diverse populations and experiential education will continue to be primary strategies in our health promotion approach.