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WEST SHAMOKIN: SADD members attend Youth Leadership Conference

by VINCENT PASSERINI, Gazette Student News Reporter on March 07, 2014 11:00 AM

RURAL VALLEY — On Feb. 26, 13 students from the West Shamokin High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter attended a Youth Leadership Conference at Indiana University of Pennsylvania that was sponsored by the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission.

Students from all over Armstrong, Indiana and Clarion counties who are leaders within their own schools were invited to the conference held at the Hadley Union Building. This year’s conference theme was addiction and gambling. The start of the conference began with an icebreaker and a production from the Saltworks Theater called “No Big Deal.” The performance focused on how gambling is an addiction just like drugs or alcohol.

[PHOTO: Members of SADD from West Shamokin High School attended a Youth Leadership Conference on Feb. 16 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Hadley Union Building that was sponsored by the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission. From left are Hayley Bowser, Lacy Reedy, Rochelle Shawl, Taylor Wilson, Alivia Peters, Charlene Patterson, Landon Schamberg, Chris Schink, Vince Passerini, Alyssa Bruno, Brandon Schamberg, Katie Jacobs and Diana Rodriguez. (Submitted photo/West Shamokin High School)]

The rest of the day was filled with lots of activities and presenters. Students played an informative game of gambling trivia with Lt. James Jones, of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. Addiction counselors Courtney Hankinson and Mike Krafick, from the Drug and Alcohol Commission, also made a presentation. There was a presentation from Robert Fyock, Indiana County Sheriff, with Bak, his K-9 sidekick.

West Shamokin SADD presented on what has allowed the chapter to achieve PA SADD Chapter of the Year status. Indiana University of Pennsylvania students presented their drug prevention club, called SOAR. There was also a presentation on youth suicide.

In the afternoon, students participated in a variety of breakout sessions while the advisers participated in a session hosted by West Shamokin on its Student Ambassador Program. Topics of the student breakout session were “Pig Lungs and Tobacco,” “Marijuana,” “IUP Police,” “Underage Drinking,” “Above the Influence” and “Fighting Back.”

In the end, the students who attended this conference left that day with their eyes opened up to the issues troubling today’s youth and a plan of action to do their part in resolving them.

GREAT SHAMOKIN PATH RUN

Built on the site of the former Rural Valley Railroad, the Great Shamokin Path is named after the Native American path that once linked the Allegheny and Susquehanna Rivers, connecting Kittanning with Sunbury. The Shamokin Path is a hiking and bicycle trail running for six miles between NuMine and Rose Valley. The trail parallels Cowanshannock Creek.

On April 12, a 5K run and two-mile walk will be held on the trail beginning at the NuMine ball field. The proceeds from the race will benefit both the West Shamokin cross country team and Team RWB. The mission of Team RWB is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.

Race applications are available at West Shamokin High School or on the active.com website. For more information, contact race director Christie Orlosky at (724) 783-7040.

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