By Jim Newell
Review Staff Writer
What would you choose instead of drugs and alcohol?
That’s what some Lake Orion High School students asked while making a video in downtown Lake Orion for their Teens in Action group.
LOHS Seniors Libby Cunningham, Brittney Tarkanyi and McKenna Carron and juniors Laura Hartman and Marc Hesse Jr. visited several locations in downtown filming mock conversations about the dangers of drug and alcohol use among teens.
They posed the question: What is important enough to you not to risk it on drugs and alcohol?
Employees at local businesses, such as ABeanToGo, also got in on the video, making their town signs and being filmed for the project.
“We’re doing this because we know there are drugs and alcohol issues in our school,” Hartman said. “We want to be those people who spread awareness and influence others to make the right decisions.”
The Teens in Action group then planned to organize the footage and add a voice over to the video and present it at the 31st annual School Leadership Series State Leadership Conference Nov. 5-6 at Shanty Creek in Bellaire.
Teens in Action is under the support of the North Oakland Community Coalition, a group dedicated to critical prevention education and programs related to underage drinking, youth substance use and mental health to encourage a responsible community where healthy decision making is valued.
Currently, there are 12 LOHS students in the SLS/NOCC program.
“We’ve been trying to bring SLS to the high school and the community and get the chapter started here,” said Carron, a lacrosse player who chose photography as more important to her than drugs and alcohol.
“It feels like you’re actually making an impact,” Cunningham said.
“It’s important because it’s coming from youth and going to youth,” said Carron.
Carron said she became interested in Teens in Action after attending a meeting last year in which Patti Charette, Outreach/Youth Coordinator for the North Oakland County Coalition, spoke to the students about making positive choices.
Teens in Action also participates in Girl Talk, Carron said, a program where the teens go to the middle schools and speak with the younger girls about how to deal with social drama, peer pressure, boys, drugs and alcohol.
The high school boys also have a Boys Talk program for middle school boys, she said.
Student Leadership Services is a Michigan-based non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring youth remain safe, healthy, and alcohol and drug free.
The chapters are student-led, adult-supported chapters, per the SLS website, slstoday.org.
For more information, contact the North Oakland Community Coalition at noccmi.org.
By Jim Newell