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Alcohol Awareness At Adelante
The staff at Adelante treated the students to root beer floats after the assembly on Friday, May 9 for their participation and enthusiasm in spreading the word about combating alcohol abuse. - photo by VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

The Leadership class at Adelante High School themed last week ‘Alcohol Abuse Awareness’ week and Kristi Santos, Social Science teacher, supervised this student-led campaign.

“Their mission was to educate the student body on the dangers of alcohol abuse,” said Santos. “They wanted to present this information before the start of the summer break, as many have stories of a friend or relative who has experienced alcohol poisoning.”

The Leadership class conceived and completed the entire project for the alcohol abuse awareness week.

The students created posters with a “Think, don’t drink” slogan and collected stories from several students that wanted to share their alcohol related experience.

“The stories are intended to be shared, anonymously, as a tool, to educate other students, and later, the community,” explained Santos. “We intend to post these stories somewhere, for the community to read.”

A template was created by the Leadership students and used by the students that wanted to share.

“One student was actually shaking with excitement, as he prepared the template that others would write their stories on, as his classmates complimented him for an awesome job,” expressed Santos.

The stories were written by students explaining personal experiences on how alcohol has affected their lives in one way or another.

“All of our students shared a story, and many of them were heartbreaking,” said Santos. “We all learned more about each other, and feel we know each other better, after the sharing of our stories.”

Each morning there was an announcement that included an educational fact supporting their “Think, don’t drink” campaign.

Educational posters to support their campaign were posted around the campus during the week that had sayings like, “No matter the beer they all have the potential to ruin your career.”

For entertainment during brunch throughout the week that ended on Friday, May 9 the students from leadership organized a “water pong” tournament.

Festivities continued with an alcohol fact that was passed out by the student body and given to other students at the assembly so that they could read the fact to the crowd. Some of the facts that were shared were, “women absorb alcohol into the bloodstream faster and metabolize it slower than men,” “10 percent of alcohol health care costs are for care of fetal alcohol syndrome,” and “8 percent of all ER visits each year for illness or injuries are associated with alcohol” just to name a few.

AHS Leadership student, Kirstin Beliel was the mastermind behind the idea for the artwork along with help from other members of the committee Angelica Reyes-Contreras, Erik Solario, and Jose Guzman.

The staff gave the students a surprise and treated them to root beer floats for their participation and hard work during the alcohol abuse awareness week.

According to Santos, the project has grown due to the interest and efforts from students and has stirred up several conversations between the students about alcohol abuse on their small campus.

“My students have never felt such satisfaction as they feel now, as they work on this project; this is from what they tell me,” stated Santos. “I also see it in their attitudes, and in their body language.

“I am seeing confidence coming out of students who are proud of what they are doing.”

The assembly ended after Carmen J., a guest speaker from an agency in Modesto, shared her story with the students and staff. The students listened to Carmen who has been sober for seven years and volunteers to share her story with people in the area to help spread the awareness.

“It is important to share these things with the kids, they are our future,” said Carmen.

Reyes-Contreras volunteered to take on the responsibility of securing a guest speaker for their assembly and managed to get Carmen J. Last names are not used to protect the speaker’s anonymity.

“I am always so proud of my students, when they complete a project,” added Santos. “The confidence and experience they gain is so valuable to them.”