“Shattering the Myths” is an interactive day of events designed to dispel common myths that youth have toward drug and substance abuse. We present powerful speakers, the science is broken down by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and we provide a creative outlet for the youth to speak up and out through spoken word and slam poetry. This isn’t a rally about telling the youth what to do, this is a rally to empower the youth to tell us what they need.
The students heard words of encouragement from T.C. alum and local Mayor William Euille. The Mayor spoke on the power of youth when they become active in their communities. He told the students how important it was for the city of Alexandria that they work to give back by helping to advocate positive choices for the students behind them. Mayor Euille was adamant that Alexandria needs young leaders to speak up and out in order to strengthen the community and build a better future.
Deputy Director Mineta of the ONDCP was there to offer the administration’s view on youth advocacy. Mr. Mineta is also an alumnus of T.C. Williams and wanted to share his story of success and motivate the students to continue to make healthy and positive choices while making sure to look behind and motivate younger students as well. Mr. Mineta is a great supporter of Mentor Foundation and our mission to empower youth to speak out and become the leaders of tomorrow.
The students heard a parents perspective with a very powerful conversation with Phil Bauer. Mr. Bauer traveled down from Philadelphia to speak and share his story. Mr. Bauer lost his son to a prescription drug overdose just weeks before his high school graduation. He has used his struggle and his loss to reach students and inspire them to stay drug free by knowing that whatever path they choose to go down, the ones that love them go down that same path. He never talks down to the students and is effective at reaching them on a personal and very engaging way.
Shattering the Myths is all about giving the youth a voice and letting them speak out. Joseph Green, local poet and educator, worked for weeks with a select group of students to formulate a slam poetry event. These students shared their personal stories and testimonies about drug and substance abuse with their peers. It was humbling to see the power of their words and to watch as their 700 peers in the audience reacted.
On May 30th, we will travel to the White House with these students for a private tour before leading a presentation for the ONDCP. This is a huge achievement for these students and a milestone for Mentor Foundation USA as we strive to sustain the impact of the Shattering the Myths youth rally. Joseph Green and the students are honored and excited to be recognized for their hard work and commitment. Each of them truly deserves this success and to have their message heard and acted upon.
See the Telemundo news coverage here: www.youtube.com/mentorfoundationusa