In March 2011, teens in Ventura, CA gathered for a Leadership Summit to explore social issues and discuss their ideas for possible solutions for reducing underage and binge drinking and impaired driving in their community. Activities included improv games and social change theatre exploration, videomaking, writing, and discussion. Here are some thoughts, comments and essays from some of this year’s Summit attendees.
Teens present a poster and speech as part of advocate training at the 2011 Leadership Summit.
My experience at the Straight Up Leadership Summit has been one of the most amazing things I’ve done. But I am here to talk about how to lead a fun, drug/alcohol-free life. The first, (most important) thing that you have to know is yourself. If somebody asks you if you want some drugs or alcohol, and you don’t know yourself, you don’t know to whom you’re saying yes or no. Also, when you don’t know yourself you can’t be your own individual — therefore, people will try to shape you. When you walk around with the confidence of knowing yourself I will guarantee that almost nobody will come up to you and ask you to do drugs with them, and if they do, they will see that you are yourself and no drug will ever control you. Then the person that came up to you will realize that and follow you as an example.
It all comes down to knowing yourself so you can lead by positive example. Know yourself, be yourself, and life will take you down a beautiful drug-free road.
— Keldon, Ventura high school student