Great Start Collaborative parent liaison adds YOUTHINK Montcalm to plate


By Curtis Wildfong • Last Updated 10:09 am on Friday, February 21, 2014

Mindy Train, a parent liaison with Great Start Collaborative of Montcalm County, was recently elected as the board chairwoman of the YOUTHINK Montcalm Coalition (formerly Drug Free Montcalm). Train has served on the YOUTHINK Board since 2012, the same year she joined Great Start. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

STANTON — As a parent liaison for the Great Start Collaborative of Montcalm County, Mindy Train has a passion for advocating for children 5 and younger.

It is that same drive she hopes to bring to the table for youngsters of all ages as the newly elected chairwoman of YOUTHINK Montcalm.

“They are our future, so you want them to grow up with the best you can teach them,” said Train, who has served on the board for YOUTHINK since 2012.

A 2002 graduate of Greenville High School, Train grew up in the area. She has been with Great Start since 2012, the same year she joined YOUTHINK, formerly known as Drug Free Montcalm.

“What better partner and leader to have than a staff person for a program that represents parents of young children,” said Amy Buckingham, coordinator for YOUTHINK.

As a parent liaison with Great Start, Train works with parents of children 5 and younger to ensure they have the resources to educate the kids, as well as themselves on the importance of early childhood development.

She hopes to bring some of that knowledge to YOUTHINK, which tends to focus more on teenagers. But Train said because children younger than 5 are so impressionable, it is important to set a good example from day one.

“I can be a voice for them and remind people we need to watch out for the little ones,” Train said.

Train said as chairwoman, she hopes to continue YOUTHINK’s efforts in community outreach, providing information and resources to parents and children alike.

“We want to get the word out that we’re in the community,” she said, adding her new position is more of a title than anything else. “We’re collaborative, so we’re all going to work together. One person can’t do everything, we have to lean on others.”

Buckingham said she was glad to have someone who advocates for younger children in an important role with the organization.

“Of course, substance abuse prevention and wellness is best when it begins early. Mindy has been with the coalition during this past year as we have clarified our purpose and processes,” she said. “Her willingness to strengthen the coalition by becoming a member in a leadership role is noteworthy and indicative of her and her program’s much appreciated support and partnership in achieving YOUTHINK Montcalm’s mission to help communities become easier places for children and youth to grow up substance free.”

Call Buckingham at (989) 831-4591 or email amybuckingham@cherryhealth.com for more information about YOUTHINK Montcalm.

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