The Fifth Day of #SADDmas!

by Rachael Pishtek

   I’m LeAnn and I have been a SADD Advisor for the last eleven years. Personally, I believe that Northern Lights SADD provides a place for students to feel like they belong and an alternative for those who may be pressured into bad choices. Two instances come to my mind when I think of how Northern Lights is changing lives. The first was when one of my students wrote “I used to cut, buy now I don’t because of my involvement in SADD.” The second was a student who was one of my SADD students, moved away and then returned to our school. While she was away, she found herself and ended up in the wrong crowd and hooked on drugs. She told me all the while she was in treatment, she thought about her involvement in SADD and hung on to what she learned and experienced here. Doing that helped her complete her treatment successfully and she is now again very involved in SADD and Reality Check.

   Adults often don’t have the best perception of teenagers these days. Our SADD students have partnered with the Lions Club, Kiwanis and our county coalition on various activities. It allows the community to see that there are a lot of great kids out there who care about issues and helping others.

   When working in the schools doing NL SADD’s Reality Check program, peer to peer education is a two way street. The elementary students in Reality Check learn about so many important topics and look up to these role models. For the Reality Check mentors, they are held accountable for their actions by the elementary students.

   I was not sure I would be able to work with this age group, they were a bit intimidating to me at first. I wasn’t sure I could be an influence in their lives. With the tools and opportunities provided by SADD, it has helped me have confidence in how to work with these amazing kids.

   As I look forward, I would really like for Northern Lights to ensure sustainability for the future.  Students and adivisors appreciate appreciate that our efforts are not going unnoticed and that people see that we are making a difference to so many youth. Y

ou can make a difference by donating and ensuring that students and adults alike can continue this important program!

About the Author

Rachael Pishtek

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