Education Outside the Box, Inc. has been working in the Indian Communities of Gila River and Ak-Chin for the past several years providing prevention education in schools and in the community setting. This workshop will focus on the specific problems of methamphetamine and suicide as primary problems in Indian Country in Arizona. The workshop will provide background on what are effective strategies in dealing with these issues and what EOTB has done in collaboration with the Gila River and Ak-Chin community leadership and service providers to provide awareness, resources and prevention education. This workshop will focus on the importance of collaboration, comprehensive efforts, culture and creativity in addressing meth and suicide in Indian communities.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will:

•Understand the importance of ongoing needs assessment and capacity building efforts.

•Identify and engage the “right” people to understand the emergent issues in their community setting (12 sectors +).

•Understand and utilize the concept of “thinking outside the box”.

•Identify some tried and true strategies for dealing specifically with meth and suicide in Native communities.


Hilary W. Cummings, M.Ed.

Hilary Cummings founded Education Outside the Box in 2002 in response to a master’s thesis theme on the need to provide educational opportunities for youth outside of the traditional classroom. Ms. Cummings’ thesis also focused on the need for community development for neighbors, schools, businesses, families, church and individuals to help shape community’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders. Cummings received her Master’s Degree with distinction in Educational Leadership in 2004 from Northern Arizona University.

Ms. Cummings has worked in the field of education and prevention since 2000 where she began by overseeing a tobacco prevention program for the University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension in 4H youth development. She has also worked as a prevention specialist for the EMPACT Suicide Prevention Center and as Program Director for Peer Solutions, a non-profit prevention organization in Phoenix. Hilary is a certified master trainer in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and safeTALK (Suicide Altertness for Everyone) and provides these trainings nationwide.

Upon graduating from the University of Virginia with a DuPont Academic Scholarship in 1978, Ms. Cummings spent twenty two years in the information technology corporate profession serving as a programmer, systems analyst, database administrator and project manager for several large organizations including British Petroleum, General Motors, American Express, University of Pennsylvania, DuPont and Intel.

For her work in prevention, Hilary Cummings received the Embrace Life Summit Suicide Prevention award in 2006, the Heart of the Community Award in 2006 for work in the Gila River Indian Community and the Tempe Diablos Excellence Award in 2006 for a Peer Leadership project with the Compadre and Evans schools in Tempe.

Ms. Cummings also has enjoyed a career in music as a singer and manager of musical groups. Singing in the Philadelphia area all of her adult life until coming to Phoenix in 1996, Ms. Cummings now also performs at weddings and events in the Phoenix area . She also has served as the Music Director for the Contemporary Service at Mission del Sol Presbyterian Church in Tempe.