People are always asking how Party.0 can help younger students because it seems like people are drinking and using drugs earlier and earlier, many starting between the ages of 12 and 14. Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) brought me in to speak in front of their high school and middle school peers during Red Ribbon Week to address the issue.
I have to admit that I absolutely loved hanging out with these students… they were loud, crazy and ridiculous in the best kind of ways! We had dance parties before every speaking engagement and they never seems to run out of energy or enthusiasm.
The speech was enjoyed by everyone with points of laughter and deep reflection. The most important part, is that the students are already planning their own sober events.
I enjoy speaking and know that my story of staying true to myself in college, instead of following and “fitting in,” will help students in the audience do the same. But if I don’t equip these students to give each other opportunities to gather, connect and have fun without drugs and alcohol, then I don’t think that I’ve really done my job. So I’m extremely excited to see that they’re already planning their first event and have some momentum from local businesses to help.
That day I gave four presentations; two high schools, one middle school, and one community presentation. It was awesome to see parents gather around these students and learn about what they’re facing. Having a caring adult who “gets it” is so important for a young person to pursue the life they want, instead of a life that’s given to them.
I look forward to the many more speaking engagements with high school and middle school audiences. They’re just as excited about throwing sober parties as college students are!