I Refuse to be a Tragedy

by Rachael Pishtek

“I refused to let a tragedy to be the reason people want to change their behavior. I refused to be a statistic.” 

As an elementary school student in Lakota, ND, my classmates and I received lessons from high school students involved in SADD or Students Against Destructive Decisions, that educated us on substance abuse, mental health and traffic safety. 

Receiving these lessons taught by older students that I looked up to, inspired me to join SADD as soon as I could. Had Northern Lights Youth Services not been brought SADD to the Dakotas and Minnesota, I would have been a completely different person. Being educated by my peers about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, distracted driving and being proud of who I am encouraged me to make positive decisions from a very young age.

SADD taught me professional skills that I still use to this day as an employee of Northern Lights Youth Services. This organization, this tight knit family, has given me so much and is giving a substance free safe haven to students in your community where they can thrive and be themselves. Thanks to generosity of donors, I was able to be part of this organization. It's on us to keep this organization up and running, click to help a student near you have the same experience!



About the Author

7Rachael Pishtek

Rachael Pishtek is a SADD alumna who served on the Northern Lights Advisory Board for two years and as the North Dakota representative on the National Student Leadership Council 2011-2012.

Pishtek, a 2015 graduate of Concordia College,  now works in marketing and development for Northern Lights Youth Services.

Leave a Comment