SADD Club receives award for Pre-Prom event last spring

SADD Club receives award for Pre-Prom event last spring

Mara Revitsky, Editor

Destructive decisions are detrimental to today’s teenagers. Choosing to do drugs, getting drunk, and texting while driving are the causes of many deaths and ruined lives for the abusers and the people who love them.
Some Greater Latrobe students have taken a stand against these hazards and are part of Latrobe’s chapter of the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club.
On November 3, 2015, Latrobe’s chapter won the Activity of the Year Award at the annual PA SADD Conference at Seven Springs Resort.
“We were all excited, because we received recognition for all of the time and effort we put into the event last May,” said Mrs. Houck, SADD Club Advisor.
The pre-Prom event on May 7, 2015 best met the criteria for receiving the award: it promoted safe and healthy decision-making along with innovation, creativity, reach, effectiveness, and collaboration on the SADD students’ behalf according to the PA SADD guidelines.
This event was held in the Commons Area the day before the high school’s prom to promote “positive decision-making” before a “high risk” time. At the event, SADD members featured games: Safe Driving Trivia, Dangers of Drugs and Alcohol Trivia, a Binge Board game, and The Faces of Meth Matching game. They also showed Student Produced PSA videos, and students from Yough High School came and showcased five presentations about the dangers of ecstasy, bath salts, and marijuana; a student’s personal story; and Narco Terrorism.
Various organizations and companies also showcased information about destructive decisions including Saint Vincent College Prevention Projects, Latrobe Drug Task Force, Attorney General’s Office, Sage’s Army, Latrobe Reality Tour, State Farm Insurance, Blackburn Center, Faith Forward Community Care, and Westmoreland Community Action.
With over 1,000 students participating in the event throughout the day, the SADD members created a one of a kind opportunity for the Latrobe community to realize how to make healthy decisions.
“The pride we feel in winning this award was really felt last May with all of the students sharing positive moments, coming together, and engaging. The award was just icing on the cake,” said Houck.
President of Latrobe’s SADD chapter, Meah Ezykowsky, earned the title of SADD Student of the Year and was a fundamental part in the award-winning activity. She had a special station at the event to tell her personal story involving destructive decisions.
“I’ve noticed that as teens we can better reach our peers and encourage them to make healthy decisions. Hearing it from someone your own age definitely has more of an impact than being ‘lectured’ by adults,” said Ezykowsky.
The annual conference’s theme this year was “The Power of You.” “Overall, it talked about techniques and activities we can hold at our school to bring awareness to drug problems, mental health issues, and other important problems and also reminded students how much power we have as individuals,” said Ezykowsky.
Guest speakers inspired SADD Club members to bring activities back to their school. Lee Rubin, a motivational speaker, discussed goal setting and leadership skills and Carl Antisell, from Minding Your Mind, shared his personal anxiety struggles along with drug and alcohol addiction. Students attended three of seven different choices of workshops on a variety of topics.
Ezykowsky is proud of Latrobe’s chapter. “We are slowly accomplishing bigger things and that our events are becoming more and more successful over time,” said Ezykowsky.
Houck discussed the future plans .“This year, we are hopefully having a guest speaker, and we might do something similar to last May’s event every couple of years,” said Houck.
“I hope that other students will see the choices that SADD members and I make and realize that although it may not make you ‘popular’, being responsible and mature is going to have a positive impact on them in the future,” said Ezykowsky.