Recently, local advocate Hannah Sheklow joined former state Assemblymember Anthony Portantino on his public policy talk show “The Question Is” for a candid discussion on teen safety. The two were joined by Ann Ortega, program coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Services at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.
Portantino first heard Sheklow speak at one of The Village meetings at St. Luke’s Church. The Village was founded by Sheklow and Mariam Gabra. It is a unique parent-led discussion group that focuses on teen safety. During a recent meeting, Sheklow discussed her family’s struggle with her teenage daughter’s drug use and the tragic consequences. Her story and insights from counselor Ann Ortega formed the basis for Portantino’s upcoming show.
“It is important to share our story with as many families as we can,” said Sheklow. “That’s the point behind The Village movement. Mariam and I want to help our community come closer to prevent a future tragedy and hopefully my daughter’s life and our family’s story can accomplish that goal.”
“I first heard Hannah speak in La Crescenta and I was so emotionally affected by her strength and candor in discussing her family’s tragedy,” said Portantino. “Her desire to help others was something I wanted to share with as wide an audience as possible. I’m a dad with a middle school daughter and Hannah’s message made me stop and think.”
Previous “The Question Is” programs have included Congressman Adam Schiff who discussed foreign policy. Other topics covered have been prison realignment, autism, women’s health, the state of art in California and runaway film production. Many local non-profits have also been featured including Glendale Healthy Kids, Glendale Arts, Burbank Arts for All, the Kids’ Community Dental Clinic and Valley Care Community Consortium.
The teen safety program with Hannah Sheklow will premiere on June 15 at 7:30 p.m. and then will be available with all of the programs on Facebook and YouTube. “The Question Is” airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. on Charter Cable only on Channel 101.