ARCANUM — Arcanum Mayor Bonnie Millard joined Arcanum students Thursday afternoon to sign a proclamation declaring April 4 through 10 “We are the Majority Week,” in Arcanum.
We are the Majority, contracted through Darke County Recovery & Wellness, is a youth-led, drug-free initiative at Arcanum and Tri-Village schools, with the hope of expanding to other schools in the county.
Kelly Harrison, the group’s adult guidance, said she is incredibly proud of the work the students are doing to impact the lives of their peers.
“I’ve worked about 19 years helping students, and trying to help people cope with in situations after they abused drugs or alcohol, and it’s really hard to undo some of those things because of what addiction does,” said Harrison. “This prevention component has been started, and it’s my passion to bring the kids together and have a community change where kids work together to make healthy choices, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work these students are doing to enact change in their community.”
The group of high school student leaders see the program as a way to positively impact younger generations. Their work has brought awareness to many of the drug-related issues facing Darke County, and the students say their work is a fun and rewarding way to impact lives. We are the Majority high school leaders Aiden Psczulkoski, Claire Lemons, and Hannah Kendig spoke with The Daily Advocate about their past year and future plans for the group.
Psczulkoski, a sophomore at Arcanum, said he values his work as a student leader because he wants to be a good role model for his younger siblings, and younger students at Arcanum in general. Lemons and Kendig agreed that encouraging younger kids to make good choices is the most rewarding aspect for them as well.
“For me, this group represents being a role model to the younger generations,” Psczulkoski said. “It’s important to show younger kids that they don’t need to use drugs, alcohol or any illegal substances to have fun, and that remaining drug free will also help them in the future in many ways as well.”
Out of the many programs and events the group hosts, Lemons, a sophomore, said her favorite was a program that welcomed the group into fifth and sixth grade classrooms to talk about drug and alcohol abuse, among other topics.
“One of my favorite things we got to do was teach fifth and sixth graders not just how to be drug, alcohol, and tobacco free, but also give them some advice about general life skills such as how to manage their time and bullying,” said Lemons.
Kendig, a freshman and three sport athlete, said she would like to see the groups efforts expand to other schools in the area.
“Playing three sports throughout the year, I know people from other schools and I think it would be great to give other kids the to the opportunity to reach out and connect with people from different schools,” said Kendig. “So, we’re hoping to be able to give people the chance to meet students at other schools and make new friends.”
We are the Majority will be hosting an upcoming virtual walk on April 5 to raise awareness for their cause. Due to the event being held virtually, the group will be posting pictures of students walking with their families and holding posters with messages of drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse prevention.
To learn more about the group, visit their Facebook page by searching “Darke County We Are The Majority.”
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