This interactive rally is designed to dispel the myths that these seniors may have regarding drug and substance abuse. In additi0n to powerful guest speakers the students will participate in a question and answer session with Dr. Ruben Baler, a scientist from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This is an open forum in which Dr. Baler will not only answer each question but will break down the answers so everyone can understand and relate the science to their lives. Dr. Baler will also be taking questions from many students in Spanish as roughly 25% of the students speak a Spanish. He will address questions in both languages to serve more students. We will also hear a parent’s testimony from Phil Bauer, a father who has suffered the loss of a child due to addiction and now dedicates his life to educating future generations to prevent drug abuse.
Telemundo, a leading Spanish speaking television network, will be filming this event. Working with Jamila Sams, our Program Director, Telemundo will film a select number of students before the rally and again after they have experienced Shattering the Myths in order to gauge the students level of knowledge and perceived risk before and after. This series of interviews will help Mentor Foundation USA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse better understand the issues that our youth face and how we can adapt prevention techniques to meet their needs.
Rounding out this experience will be Joseph Green, Poet and educator from Poetry Now VA, and a team of T.C. Williams students performing their original slam poetry. These students have been working with Joseph for weeks preparing their personal testimonies and thoughts regarding drug and substance abuse. They will stand before 700 of their peers and share to encourage the student body to stay drug free and to make healthy choices as they enter into prom and graduation season.
Our previous Shattering the Myths rallies have proven that when we provide our students with the platform to speak they will make their voices heard. We aim to provide them with the knowledge and tools to become advocates for drug prevention to their peers. Shattering the Myths shows the powerful and positive impact from providing an open forum for questions and giving students room to share their thoughts and testimonies. We don’t need an generation of adults speaking down to youth, what we need is a generation of students that feel empowered to speak to us and share what is really going on. Shattering the Myths provides the tools they need to speak, it is up to us to use that information to build stronger and healthier communities.
Join us on May 1st, from 9:00am-11:00am at T.C. Williams High School to experience Shattering the Myths. Check back with our blog for more information from the event and feel free to contact Michael Coursey, [email protected], with any questions.