Category Archives: Featured Youth

Floyd YAT Member Promotes Healthier Prom Season

One of the most exciting times for students in high school, especially the Juniors and Seniors, is the annual prom. As many know, the traditional prom consists of taking pictures, eating, and then going to dance. Something I have recently noticed as a high school student is the rise in alcohol and drug use on prom nights. Why is it necessary to participate in illegal activity in order to have a good time with either a group of friends or ones significant other? It should be a time to celebrate with your student body, not to lose brain cells or be put at health risk while breaking laws.

Now you may ask, how can I have a good time on prom night without “turning up?” It’s quite simple actually. Surround yourself with a good core group of friends that you know will not participate in any illegal activities and just have fun. While pictures and going to eat prior to prom is not a time that these illegal activities could occur, make sure you are with this group of good friends during prom or right after.

So here is the situation: prom has come to a close and you are leaving, what do you do? There are several different options that will be fun without any harm occurring. For example, going to eat ice cream or frozen yogurt, going to get a snack, going swimming (with parent supervision), etc. It may just be my opinion, but I would choose any of these options which would result in long lasting memories over just a temporary buzz that you won’t remember. Of course there is a curfew that teenagers must obey, but don’t let that limit your fun! Just plan your schedule out so you can ensure that you will be home safe and sound prior to curfew.

High school is the time in life when you make memories that you can look back on in 20 years and think about with a smile shining across your face; prom is the pinnacle of those memories so make sure that prom is one of the best nights to REMEMBER. If you drink or do drugs, that’s not memorable! Do something with your friends or significant other that is safe and enjoy your night!

 

For more information about the Floyd Youth Action Team, visit us! Don’t forget to check out our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

 

Written by Thomas Herrin. He is currently a Junior at Armuchee High School and a 2 year member of Floyd Youth Action Team.

Written by Thomas Herrin. Thomas is currently a Junior at Armuchee High School and  he is a 2 year member of the Floyd Youth Action Team.

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Dress For Success!

So heads up, Valentine’s Day is THIS week! With that, means school dances, special functions, date night, and just the beginning of all of the upcoming social events of the spring season! Instead of letting this continuously frosty weather dampen your mood, get out to Floyd County’s Harbor House and visit the Dress for Success dress closet!

Hannah Hudspeth, a twelfth grade Floyd Youth Action Team member, created the Dress for Success program in partnership with Harbor House and the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth. The dress closet consists of over 70 donated dresses that are appropriate for prom, school dances, weddings, and other special events. The dress closet is FULL of dresses varying in size, color, and style. At NO charge, Dress for Success would love to grant your wish of having the perfect dress!

Dress for SuccessOnce you are finished with your dress, consider “paying it forward” and giving it back to the dress closet or donating it to a younger sibling, cousin, or friend to use on their special day! If you are interested in setting up an appointment to see all of the beautiful dresses, or you would like to donate to the Dress for Success program, please contact Hannah Hudspeth at the Harbor House, 706.235.5437.

Youth Action Team Member Selected As One Of GA’s Top 20 Youth Leaders!

Anna Young

Anna Young, a member of the Floyd Youth Action Team, was selected as one of Georgia’s top 20 youth leaders. This award, selected in partnership with the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 and 21st Century Leaders, recognizes the extraordinary achievements of inspiring youth and honors their commitment to leadership in the community. Anna was nominated for her efforts to organize Red Ribbon Week activities for students at Armuchee High School.

As a 20 Under 20 honoree, Young will receive a $250 mini-grant and be formally recognized for her accomplishments at the Georgia Youth Leadership Awards on Thursday, February 27, 2014, at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia. Young and other honorees will be eligible, for the Turner Voices Innovative Leadership Award, and $1,000 mini-grant, that will be presented by Turner Broadcasting System the evening of the awards program. Business and professional leaders from Turner Broadcasting Systems, Cox Enterprises, The Home Depot and others will join Young and the other honorees to celebrate the 20 Under 20 Class of 2014 and congratulate the young winners on their accomplishment.

20 Under 20 projects will be featured in media presentations to raise awareness of these exemplary young leader’s efforts. The event will also feature live music, a silent auction, and a social media wall and other fun activities. Young and other winners will be featured on the organization’s website, blog and social media.

Anna has been a member of the Floyd Youth Action team for over a year and has always been an extremely active member. She helped develop and plan last year’s Mental Health Awareness event at the Rome Braves, she helped plan and facilitate at the Floyd Teen Center’s annual Girls Summer Camp, coordinated Red Ribbon Week activities at her school, attended the Governor’s Red Ribbon Week kickoff event, was a speaker at the annual Table Talk Teen Forum, and has been a part of the planning of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Anna is also a Member of the Armuchee High Key Club, Academic Decathlon, National Honor Society, and a 21st Century Leaders Alumnus. She is a Georgia Merit Scholar and an A.P. Scholar; and currently has a 4.0 GPA. Young also recently received the Exchange Club’s ACE Award for Armuchee High School. She has been selected to receive a University of Tennessee-Knoxville Out-of-State Student of Excellence Scholarship. Anna has been admitted to the University of Tennessee’s Engineering School where she plans to major in Biomedical Engineering.

For original article, visit WRGA Rome’s News Talk

A Healthy Me is Drug Free & Thoughts From A Teenager….

Red Ribbon Week has officially started! For the week of October 23 through October 31st, millions of Americans will be celebrating this years theme of “A Healthy Me is Drug Free!” To kick us off right, we want to share one of our Floyd Youth Action Team member’s view on underage drinking.

The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health of 2012 revealed that over 51 percent of the American population ages 12 and older were drinkers. The same survey showed that about 9.3 million people aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol at least once over the course of a month. I’ have never had alcohol, but I am a product of a parent who began drinking at age 13, so I understand the effects, consequences, and emotions that result from underage drinking—the choices my parent made still resonate throughout my life. I watched alcohol consumption by my peers take off once we entered high school. Young people begin to grow up and distance themselves from their parents. Teens get their licenses, and they start spending less time at home and more time with friends. I listen to students talk about drinking on the weekends, afternoons, and nights—most of the time they are laughing and talking about how they acted stupid.

My group and I conducted a survey at school to determine the impact alcohol is having on local teenager’s lives, and found that 60 percent of the students asked drink because they think it is fun. Of the students asked, the youngest age that someone began drinking was 11 years old. My group also found that the majority of teens drinking are getting the alcohol from friends. Underage drinking appears to be connected to teen socialization. Alcohol consumption is connected with fun.

 A fellow student of mine has been arrested three times and attends alcoholics’ anonymous meetings. When we asked him how he felt about alcoholics anonymous, he replied that it was fun and just like in the movies. There appeared to be no embarrassment or stigma attached to attending AA meetings as a teen drinker, but there was also no apparent admission that he had a drinking problem which is fundamental to a 12 step programs success.   

Teens are willing to do whatever they have too to get alcohol including illegally purchasing or stealing alcohol from their parents. It is also apparent that some stores in the community are willing to sell alcohol to underage drinkers. These teens are adding themselves to a growing number of teens around the United States who make up a pool of statistics.  We are aware, According to the Surgeon General, that about 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year as a result of drinking. Teens under the influence of alcohol are more likely to engage in risky behavior or be subject to harmful consequences, such as drinking and driving, unprotected sex, suicide and sexual assault. Underage drinking is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined. Long term consequences can also occur in developing brains exposed to alcohol. Lab studies show that memory impairments have been found in adult rats exposed to alcohol during adolescence. Imaging techniques revealed structural differences in the brains of 17 year old adolescents who displayed alcohol-induced intellectual and behavioral impairment. Researchers speculate that teens are more vulnerable to addiction because the pleasure center of the brain matures before the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and executive decision making.  In other words, a teenager’s capacity for pleasure reaches adult proportions well before their capacity to make sound decisions. Statistics and scientific observations, however, do not tell the whole story.

As a teenager it is important to have power over your own mind. Teenagers are constantly struggling for acceptance from their friends, and being under the influence of alcohol may provide a false sense of acceptance. Instead of socialization skills and the normal maturing process taking place as teenagers grow into adulthood, teenagers who engage in underage drinking may develop a dependence on alcohol to help them relax and have fun, which often leads to an alcohol dependency.

 I believe that drinking alcohol changes your personality and leads to an attitude that causes a person to not care about life outside of drinking. Drinking affects your school life, home life and family life. Personally, I feel that those who choose to engage in underage drinking are throwing their life away. By risking arrest and not caring about school work and grades, the only thing teens are learning is to set their life on a path that does not lead to success. If alcohol is what teens are using to have fun, then we as a community need to change the teenager’s perception of fun. If obtaining alcohol is so easy in our community, then laws and consequences for providing alcohol to minors need to be addressed. Most importantly adults need to become aware that underage drinking is a problem with serious implications in the lives of teens who are willing to illegally purchase alcohol or steal alcohol from their parents. The ease at which teenagers who desire to acquire alcohol obtain alcohol is something they readily realize. They do not, however, realize how easily they can be arrested for underage drinking.

Underage drinkers are not statistics or lost causes. They are young people with life and potential. They make up the future of our community, and it is scary to think of what the future will look like if we continue to sit around and let an overwhelming number of teens drink. No adult would sit still and watch as a three year old played in the middle of highway 27, even if it was not their child there would be action. However, it appears that there is a lack of urgency in the community and the lives of the adults concerning teens playing with an addictive and potentially destructive, yet readily obtainable drug called alcohol. I am here today representing the 50 percent of teenagers who have chosen not to drink, but speaking out on the behalf of the 50 percent of the teenagers who, for whatever reason, have chosen to drink saying “Hello, my name is (you fill in the blank with a face that you know in your life) I am an alcoholic” and we, as a community have a problem.

ANNA PIC Anna Young is a Senior at Armuchee High School and a member of the Floyd Youth Action Team.