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High School Heroes continues to make a change

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A group of high school heroes pose for a picture. “I think it's really good for learning how to teach people. I helped with leadership skills because I was setting an example for the sixth graders, showing them they don't have to do drugs and stuff to look cool, they can just be themselves, and be ok with that,” sophomore high school hero Sophie Gullino said.

A group of high school heroes pose for a picture. “I think it's really good for learning how to teach people. I helped with leadership skills because I was setting an example for the sixth graders, showing them they don't have to do drugs and stuff to look cool, they can just be themselves, and be ok with that,” sophomore high school hero Sophie Gullino said.

Courtesy of Diana Tate

Courtesy of Diana Tate

A group of high school heroes pose for a picture. “I think it's really good for learning how to teach people. I helped with leadership skills because I was setting an example for the sixth graders, showing them they don't have to do drugs and stuff to look cool, they can just be themselves, and be ok with that,” sophomore high school hero Sophie Gullino said.

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Continuing to evolve in our ever-changing community, a group of 27 sophomores addressed middle schooler students on the harmful effects of drugs, vaping and JUULs through a 22-year-old program called High School Heroes.

“Since vaping and Juuling are becoming a bigger and bigger problem in society, we involved that in our presentations. We just focused a lot of activities around JUULs especially,” sophomore hero Alicia Osiek said.

The High School Heroes have witnessed a change in the program from when they were in the middle schools.

“When I was in sixth grade [the high schoolers] did a lot more talking, but this year we did more activities,” Osiek said.  “I think the more activities we do more people make connections and understand the material.”

With the introduction of new drugs, the program adapted to the current drug landscape.

My enthusiasm and passion for this High School Heroes program and all the other Safe and Drug-Free programs actually comes from watching, year after year, the continued desire and dedication of high school students wanting to role model and educate younger students and make a difference in their life.”

— Diana Tate

“I think it’s up-to-date, Mrs. Rowe and Mrs. Tate update it each year. They added facts about JUULs and that was really important because that is such a big topic,” McGuire said.The kids already knew the basic facts of nicotine and marijuana and stuff, but they didn’t know the specific facts of all the chemicals and how bad they really are.”

To capitalize on the sixth graders’ excitement, sophomore and High School Hero Weston McGuire came into the middle school prepared for anything.

“I think it’s still useful, especially with the sixth graders because they are so young and excited but they’re also really involved, they wanted to be there. It’s fun to teach them and it’s good to start to talk to them at a young age, because the middle schoolers were really excited to see us and they were excited to learn, and they even still remember the main idea,” McGuire said.

Diana Tate, the Safe and Drug-Free Council program facilitator, has been a part of the program since its inception in 1996.

“My enthusiasm and passion for this High School Heroes program and all the other Safe and Drug-Free programs actually comes from watching, year after year, the continued desire and dedication of high school students wanting to role model and educate younger students and make a difference in their life,” Tate said.

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High School Heroes continues to make a change