2017 National Shatter the Myths Rally Draws Over 180 Students

Over 180 Washington D.C. high school students interacted with top U.S. scientists and inspiring guest speakers about drugs and substance abuse at the 2017 “Shatter the Myths” rally.

16 February 2017 | News

The event was held on January 24th at the House of Sweden by the Georgetown waterfront. Participating schools included: IDEA Public Charter SchoolSchool Without Walls High SchoolRichard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts and Roosevelt High School.

Shatter the Myths” is a program designed to dispel myths that youth have about drugs such as “everybody is doing it” and “one time will not harm me.” By focusing on the innate talents youth have and providing a platform to make their voices heard, youth become their own advocates for staying drug–free. This innovative peer‐to-peer model for drug prevention is well-documented and nationally recognized.

During the rally, students had the opportunity to get their questions answered by leading National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) scientists and participate in poetry slam workshops where they were able to express their own feelings around substance abuse. At the end of the rally, several students were selected to perform their poems.

Two student leaders from Taconic Hills High School in Columbia County, NY, got the opportunity to attend the rally, with support from the Columbia County Health Care Consortium.

Mia Modafferi, a 16-year-old Youth Ambassador, and Hanan Ibrahim, a 17-year-old Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter member, both said the poetry slam workshops made a big impact on them.

“It was really impressive how much the students could show how they felt through the slam poetry,” Modaferri said.

Special guest speakers included Sweden’s Ambassador to the U.S. Björn Lyrvall; Ms. June S. Sivilli, Division Chief, Division of Public Health and Public Safety at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; and Dr. Lonise Bias, mother to the late Len Bias.