The Times West Virginian

December 31, 2012

Lasting impact

Students help peers steer clear of destructive decisions

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Students in Marion County are helping fight back against the county’s drug problem.

Four high school students who are part of the Marion County Teen Task Force attended the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) state conference in Flatwoods in November. The students were Fairmont Senior High School sophomores Jeremiah Hines and Sydney Stalnaker, and East Fairmont High School senior Jacqueline Costello and sophomore Kayle Smith.

The students were there all day Nov. 17 until the following afternoon. During the conference students from across the state participated in workshops and listened to motivational speakers.

The four were co-sponsored by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and were grateful for the support of their county. They knew the conference would be a good experience and would make an impact on their SADD chapter.

All four students gained more knowledge about helping someone make better decisions. Coming back from the conference the students feel prepared to help their fellow peers make the right decisions when it comes to drugs, alcohol and peer pressure.

Hines said the conference exceeded his expectations because of how interactive the workshops were.

“They gave us some workshops to choose from,” he said. “We always chose the interactive ones because they made a bigger impact and were more enthusiastic.”

The conference made a huge impact on Hines, who said he left wanting to help his peers make good decisions when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

“I learned a lot of stuff,” he said. “Like to choose my decisions wisely, don’t make destructive decisions, to double think about what you do and to not give in to peer pressure.”

With the skills he was taught at the conference, Hines wants to focus on getting more FSHS students involved with SADD, and talk with younger kids.


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