"Our vision is to create a united community where all youth will be drug free."

Boone County Alliance

Since 2010, BCA has devoted its energy to develop and implement individual and community strategies to combat substance abuse. In order to achieve its mission of a united community where all youth are drug free, BCA engages in activities related to prevention, advocacy, and collaboration. BCA focuses on prevention of underage drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug misuse/abuse.



Our mission is to prevent substance abuse through education, advocacy and implementing sound strategies.


Our vision is to create a united community where all youth will be drug free. We accomplish our vision by building community partnerships to reduce and prevent substance use/abuse among youth, their families, and those in future generations.

Meet Our Board

Jennifer Welch headshotJennifer Welch, BCA Grant Coordinator
Jennifer has an extensive background in substance abuse, prevention strategies and education. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, she has a degree in elementary education and taught for nine years. As a teacher, she became aware that her students needed more than just academics, there seemed to be a need for more social-emotional learning. This was when she went back to school to obtain her master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Xavier University. After completing her internship at Mental Health America as a pro bono therapist, she learned about Boone County Alliance for Healthy Youth and has been with the organization for a year and a half. Since joining BCA, Jennifer has obtained her Chemical Dependency Counseling License and Prevention Specialist Certificate. Jennifer is very excited to see how BCA and the Boone County community can change the lives of our local youth.


Ben Brown HeadshotBen Brown, BCA Chair
Ben is currently the Boone County High School Youth Service Center Coordinator and Varsity Football Coach. A graduate of Morehead State University, Ben has a B.A. in Psychology. He is also involved in Care Closet, GOPantry and Collaboration for Children who recognized Ben with the Partnership of the Year Award. In addition to playing football for the legendary Coach Owen Hauck and with NFL running back Shaun Alexander (who is also his cousin), Ben was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. Ben enjoys making an impact and believe we have a great responsibility to provide education and guidance to Boone County youth.


Linda Bates headshotLinda Bates, BCA Vice Chair
A BSW graduate of Northern Kentucky University, Linda is currently the Community Relations Coordinator for WellCare Health Plans where she works to reduce barriers to health care for people on Medicaid. She is also involved in Pendleton County Champions, Campbell County Drug Free Alliance, Northern Kentucky ASAP, Care Mission and a member and volunteer at Main Street Baptist Church. Linda has spent the past 25 years raising three boys, as well as working in the community with 6-12th graders. She loves to travel and really wants to go to Costa Rica to see the rainforest. Linda is committed to BCA and being an advocate for Boone County youth.


Dillon McCormick headshotDillon McCormick, BCA Secretary
Dillon is the Human Services Analyst at the Boone County Fiscal Court. A graduate of Western Kentucky University, Dillon has a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish. He also volunteers with NKY ASAP, LiveWell Tobacco-Free Florence, and the Boone County Homelessness Task Force.


Autumn Smith headshotAutumn Smith, BCA Treasurer
Autumn works at NorthKey Community Care as the Regional Prevention Center Director. She graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor's degree in Public Health and is a Certified Prevention Specialist. Autumn serves on BCA's board because of her passion for substance misuse prevention and eagerness to help others. Autumn is a member of several other community coalitions in the Northern Kentucky region, frequently volunteers at animal shelters, and has a passion for traveling, being to 35/50 states and 4 countries.


Liz Atwell HeadshotLiz Atwell is the lead staff member from Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio (MHANKYSWOH) who serves on the project team for the Boone County Alliance Drug Free Communities Grant as the fiscal sponsor. Liz has twenty-five years of experience working in the social service field, holding various positions related to mental health and substance abuse. She has developed particular experience in the areas of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention, as well as in criminal justice/law enforcement collaborations. She was formerly a Director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, serving Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. Liz is currently the Executive Director of MHANKYSWOH. She serves on the Board of Northern Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (Treasurer) and Mental Health America of Ohio. Liz is a service-oriented person who has volunteered for other non-profits, her church, and her children’s athletic teams. During the pandemic, she was able to get back to an annual vegetable garden, enjoy family mealtime again, and spend more time at home with her dogs. She is committed to Northern Kentucky and has spent most of her career focused on developing resources to address behavioral health needs.


Noah Francis headshotNoah Francis is a junior at St. Henry District High School. He joined Boone County Alliance as their Youth Sector Lead in August of 2020 and is glad to be working in my community with other high school students. Noah is on a mission to help reduce substance abuse in Northern Kentucky by offering alternative solutions for how the future generation of students can cope with challenges they encounter in high school.


Maridith Yahl headshotMaridith Yahl is a BCA Executive Team Member at Large, soon to be learning and handling the BCA Facebook page and website. Working for Boone County Schools, she enjoys assisting the teachers at R.A. Jones Middle School and helping the students grow. A graduate of Northern Kentucky University, Maridith has a B.A. in Psychology, M.A. in Integrative Studies where she focused on women’s experiences during the Holocaust, and a Master’s Certificate in Public History. She absolutely loves being a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters. A lifelong Northern Kentuckian, Maridith’s parents still live in the same house she grew up in. Having deep roots in Boone County, Maridith is part of BCA to show youth there are people who care for and are there to help them.

Boone County Alliance History

Founded in 2010

BCA founded by concerned community members after a tragic, alcohol-related teen death.

Heroin Task Force Created in 2013

The Heroin Task Force was created in response to the heroin epidemic in Boone County. Joined forces with BCA to maximize resources and efforts.

Awarded in 2014

BCA awarded Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant by the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. 

April 2015

Alcohol Sticker Shock Campaign began to reduce the purchase of alcohol for minors.

May 2016

Medication Lock Box Program began to reduce access to opiates and other prescription drugs.

August 2016

Young Boone County group began for high school students to gain leadership experience, volunteer hours, and work on substance use prevention projects in the community.

April 2017

Presented the Rachel Hutzel Prevention Partner Award from PreventionFIRST!

October 2019

DFC awarded BCA prevention grant for years 6-10.

Join us the third Monday of every month
Virtually on Zoom

Meeting time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Please contact us for the Zoom Meeting ID.

Prevention in Action

  • Resources for Parents

    BCA provides parents and the community information on alcohol and drug facts and effective strategies on how to speak with children about alcohol and substance abuse.


  • Training for kids

    BCA partners with Boone County Schools to implement CoreLife and LifeSkills training to students between grades 3 and 8. These trainings give kids the tools they need to engage in healthy behaviors, including decision-making and coping, as well as refusal skills. 


  • Annual Community Survey

    Each year, the BCA conducts a survey at the Boone County Fair to gauge the community's knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes about youth substance use in Boone County.


  • Youth Engagement

    BCA partners with the Boone County Public Library for Young Boone County, which encourages youth to become leaders and engage in community service.


  • Alcohol Sticker Shock

    Every spring, BCA partners with local alcohol retailers and community groups to place stickers on multi-pack alcoholic beverages. The aim of this project is to reach those individuals over the age of 21 who legally purchase alcohol and provide it to minors.


  • Prescription Drug Disposal

    BCA partners with law and safety officials to promote the three safe drug disposal locations in Boone County and National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Click here for information about locations.

  • Server Training in Alcohol Regulations (STAR)

    Service staff for Boone County restaurants and bars can attend ABC's responsible server training paid for by BCA. For more information, click here.


  • Medicine Safety Presentations and Lock Boxes

    BCA provides presentations to senior centers and other groups on medicine safety, including safe storage and disposal. BCA also offers personal medicine lock boxes to the community free of charge.


  • For more information

    Want to know more about our prevention programs or what we could do together to help our youth in Boone County? Click here or contact Jennifer Welch at (859) 431-1077 ext. 111 or jwelch@mhankyswoh.org.