NEW MADISON — Tri-Village Schools are hosting a drug prevention awareness week April 5 through 9 sponsored by the student-led group “We are the Majority.” Throughout the week, students will be participating in a number of different activities to promote the dangers of drug, tobacco, and alcohol use among their peers.
“We are the Majority,” contracted through Darke Co. Recovery & Wellness, has student members in a number of schools throughout the county. All of the students work to prevent drug, tobacco, and alcohol use among their peers. Kelly Harrison, Student Success Liaison with Recovery & Wellness and the groups adult guidance, stated she is incredibly proud of the work the students are doing, and hopes to see the program expand further.
A group of involved students sat down with The Daily Advocate to discuss what the program means to them, and how they’re working to spread the message. When asked why they got involved, all confirmed that they wish to help their friends, be role models to younger kids, and learn about how to prevent drug use in general.
Caleb Derksen, a sophomore at Tri-Village, said he’s been involved with the program for about five years, and wants to continue making a difference in his community.
“I got involved through sports, and hearing about people doing drugs and I really didn’t think it was a good decision so I wanted to make an effort to prevent drug use,” said Derksen.
Other members said they enjoy the camaraderie and fun events the group supports. Above all, the students agreed that teaching younger students how to make good decisions is the most rewarding aspect.
“I’ve been involved for almost three years now, and I really don’t like seeing my friends doing drugs or vaping, so I wanted to set a good example,” said Amariah Markley, a freshman. “Also, I wanted to help other students learn the dangers of using drugs, and I think it’s been a great program so far.”
Similar to Arcanum students, the group has hosted fun sporting events to promote awareness, and has also taught life-skills classes to elementary and middle school students. Recently, they hosted a dodge ball tournament with the theme, “dodge dangerous decisions,” where the balls were labeled with dangerous substances like tobacco that students had to dodge.
They also hosted a school-wide assembly in which the students outlined the life of a theoretical student named “Alex.” The program went through the potential paths of “Alex’s” life depending on what decision he made in his young adult life, choosing to use or not use drugs.
The group will be hosting a wiffle ball event in the near future to continue to promote their cause. Members noted there are other events in the works, but they are still ironing out the details.
To learn more about the group, visit their Facebook page by searching “Darke County We are the Majority.”