Congratulations to all of the local school districts who observed "Red Ribbon Week" with speakers attesting to the risks of alcohol and drug abuse.
Lowellville High School had as its first speaker, Matt, who said alcohol helped him be part of the "cool group." He said that he never would have started as it led to a $20,000-a-year drinking habit down the road, plus two DUI convictions in additional court costs and fines.
The next speaker, Aaron, shared his story that he was scared and insecure while growing up and turned to alcohol for confidence he needed to dance, or talk to girls. In 1999, while drunk, he ran a red light, killing a 27-year-old woman. He spent the next nine years in a state prison. Today, his life has changed and he wanted to share his story with the high school students, warning them to be careful.
The last speaker was Susan, who shared her story of alcohol and drug addiction telling students her problems began in high school and followed her to college. She said alcohol made her feel more comfortable and taller and prettier. It was a way to make others like her. Susan's grades suffered, she wrecked cars and got into bar fights.
In today's Hollywood culture that we find ourselves in, it is tough being a good parent. It takes hard work and dedication in not being your child's friend, but a good parent. Most of us have been truly blessed with wonderful parents, thank God, and that's where it has to start.
If the students can see the damage done to the young and old by these drugs, they can achieve their dreams and make it. Our young people's futures depend on it.