Portage Elora has recently entered into a partnership with the Guelph Neighbourhood Watch and the Drug Strategy Committee to organise a conference on preventing and addressing substance abuse and crime among youth.
The conference, held on October 18, 2010, featured keynote speaker, Rick Osbourne, who recounted his experiences with gangs and drugs, the 23 years he spent in the federal prison system, and how he managed to get clean.
Three recent Portage Elora graduates also spoke at the conference, addressing an audience of high school students, parents, and members of the community. They described what drugs had done to their lives, what substance abuse had cost them, and how Portage had helped them regain control of their futures. The audience was captivated by their testimonials.
Following the conference, Rick Osbourne visited the Portage Elora residents to talk candidly about his experiences and the road to recovery. The residents thoroughly enjoyed spending some time with him.