This time of year high school students are looking forward to those wonderful milestone moments like prom and graduation. Regrettably, these milestones can sometimes go hand in hand with tragedy when mixed with drugs or alcohol. ASAP of Anderson Youth Ambassadors are encouraging their peers to be safe and sober on prom night. Youth Ambassadors are made up of students from Anderson County, Clinton and Oak Ridge high schools. Students designed posters that will hang throughout their schools in the coming weeks before prom to remind students they can “choose their fate.” This message corresponds with ASAP’s #IAMONE campaign. The campaign encourages youth to declare #IAMONE who will not use drugs or alcohol.
On a typical prom weekend, 40 percent of traffic-related deaths among 15 to 20-year olds involve alcohol; and underage drinking sends more than 190,000 teens to the emergency room each year. Furthermore, underage drinking kills six times as many teens as all other illicit drugs combined. ASAP of Anderson partners with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office who provides funding to support the #IAMONE campaign. On prom night, students at Anderson County and Clinton high schools will walk the red carpet and have photos taken in front of a #IAMONE backdrop and encouraged to consciously “choose their fate”. Students at all Anderson high schools are encouraged to share sober prom photos with #IAMONE, and winners will be chosen to receive a Visa gift card. Students attending the prom will also receive a sober prom reminder when they are leaving the event including a keychain and free dessert card donated by Chick-fil-A Oak Ridge.
At Anderson County High School, Student Resource Officer Shawn Bannach will be hosting an event the day before prom which will include emergency vehicles and helicopters, driving a golf cart while wearing fatal vision goggles to simulate impairment, an electronic impairment driving simulator where students will be issued tickets and stand in front of a judge to answer for their actions. ASAP Youth Ambassadors will also be there asking their peers to sign a pledge to say “I AM ONE who will not use drugs or alcohol on prom night.”
For more information about the #IAMONE campaign, contact ASAP of Anderson at 865-457-3007 or www.asapofanderson.org. Follow @ASAPofAnderson on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.