GREENVILLE — The Darke County We Are The Majority “Winter at the “Y” event brought in more than 80 kids and 25 teen Majority Leaders, Friday, Feb. 17.
We are the Majority (WRTM) is a county-wide peer-led group comprised of drug and alcohol-free 7-12th grade Majority Teens, who are interested in spreading on-going awareness. The group is under the facilitation of Prevention Specialist Kelly Harrison through Recovery and Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio.
“Teens involved wish to send the message to their younger peers, not to give into peer pressure or try to experience drug or alcohol use, as it is detrimental to their future,” Harrison said of the group.
“Winter at the Y”, at the Darke County YMCA, was one of the many events for younger youth, hosted by Majority Teens. Kids were greeted with freebies, including a t-shirt or bag, bracelets, pencils, food, drinks swimming and inflatables. The event was kicked off with a powerful rally of Majority Teens standing in front of the guests. Each one explained why they joined. Some of their statements were as follows:
“If something is going on, tell someone; I joined because I want to help kids like you stay away from drugs; I experience alcohol in my family – it is not good; I joined because I have personally seen the effects on friends and family, and I actually want to change the world – not just Greenville but the world; I joined because my family has personally experienced the negative effects of alcohol, and I don’t want anyone else – like you guys – to have to go through that when you are a young child; I want to be a positive influence on my siblings and everyone I come into contact with, like all of you.”
“Look how many there are,” Harrison said to the crowd. “We want you. I want to see you guys standing up here one day.”
Harrison said she finds it rewarding and is inspired by the commitment of the positive students in the community, who find the importance of being drug/alcohol free and how they are passionate about spending their time sharing this crucial information with the younger generation of students.
“I am optimistic that over time students will know more of the facts and see drug and alcohol abuse for the reality it is, instead of in the way some forms of media glamorize it to attract our youth,” she said. “I have also felt the WRTM Program has been rewarding by observing school systems taking action to include the WRTM messages and support the efforts of overall addiction prevention. Our community must work together and include turning to our youth to make a positive impact for a healthy Darke County, and to see this happening is phenomenal.”
CEO/Executive Director of the YMCA of Darke County Sam Casalano said the Y was very excited to host this event in collaboration with the Recovery and Wellness Center, the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County and WRTM.
“This is only the beginning of what I hope to become a very strong and active partnership in the prevention of addiction among the youth of Darke County,” he said. “The Y will remain a key player in fighting this on-going and growing threat. I believe strongly in the prevention of addiction issues, and the best way to do this is to involve the youth in positive activities before they get involved in unhealthy lifestyle choices.”
The event was sponsored by the The Recovery and Wellness Center and was possible through grant funds from the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County for Substance Abuse Education and Prevention which included funding received from the Darke County United Way and the Greenville Rotary Club.
This program aligns with the state We are the Majority Initiative, began by Gov. John R. Kasich.
EDS NOTE: This story is part of an ongoing series titled “Fatal Addiction” that will address the drug problem and effects on residents and resources in Darke County.