Fishing for Peace of Mind with Vin
Being a five-year-old can be tough. You’re waiting for school to come your way. You are old enough for some things but forever too young for others. For Vito (who […]


Being a five-year-old can be tough.

You’re waiting for school to come your way.

You are old enough for some things but forever too young for others.

For Vito (who turned 5 in April), the experience has been rough.

It began with the birth of another sister (he has two older sisters) on March 11 the very day the World Health Organization announced a pandemic was occurring.

The next week preschool was closed, and he couldn’t see any of his friends.

Things were not going well for Vito. He couldn’t even hang out with his grandfather because he has a chronic lung condition that makes him a high risk.

Vito’s entire life changed and in his 5-year-old eyes, not for the better.

Luckily, Vito has an older cousin named Vin.

“Vin recognized that his cousin Vito was facing a lot of changes and that most of these changes were having a negative impact on him,” Vin’s mom explains, “he told me that when he was Vito’s age, fishing with his big brother helped him escape from all the frustrations he was facing.”

While Vin has always been kind to his younger cousins, he usually would rather play on his PS4 than with the younger relatives. However, watching the young Vito struggle resonated with him.

Vin’s life has not always been positive. When he was 6 years old, he and his mother were victims of a violent home invasion. It happened in the early morning hours in 2012 only weeks before Vin started first grade. This single act of violence changed Vin’s entire life. Home wasn’t a safe place anymore.

“The trauma was intense, and because it occurred in our home it took away from us that sense of security and calm which being at home so often provides,” Vin’s mom shares.

Vin (10) and TJ (21) both with their biggest fish to date. This was May 2016 in Cape Cod, MA.

But Vin found his calm, in nature. He learned about fishing from his older half-brother, T.J., and began fishing at age 3.  Since then, the sport has become a huge source of relaxation and healing for Vin, especially in the months and years that followed the home invasion.

Being by the water not only provided Vin with a hobby, but it has also taught him patience, determination, and respect for nature. Something he is enjoying teaching to his young cousin just like his brother showed him.

Vin’s mom shares, “I hope that through this experience, Vin will learn that when we put positivity into the world around us, it helps us find positivity in our own lives.”

#WeRPositive the experience of spending time with Vin, has helped Vito greatly. Sometimes sharing time and something you love with another person is the best gift you can offer. Vin’s brother T.J. offered it to Vin, who is passing it on. Great job, Vin!

If you know of a young person who is reaching out or helping out in a big or small way, please share their story with us. We are on the search for do-gooders.

We believe that healthy truths reduce use.

The healthy truth: Teens in Elkhart County aren’t drinking, smoking or using drugs.

But their peers think they are — and that makes a big difference.

Positively Elkhart County is a social norming campaign that aims to change students’ attitudes, behaviors and perceptions surrounding alcohol and drug use.

The goal of our program is to show students in our community that drinking and using drugs is NOT the norm and is NOT “cool.” Research shows this approach will reduce use over time.

Most teens in Elkhart County are making positive choices about alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs.

However, many believe they are in the minority and their typical peers engage in substance use. What teens think about their peers’ behavior has a strong influence on their own choices.

Our surveys show that high school students who believe their typical peer uses drugs or alcohol are 2-3 times more likely to engage in use themselves.



When Students Believe Their Typical Peer Drinks


When Students Know Their Typical Peers Do NOT Drink