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RHS SADD student selected for training

By Staff
Jonathan Willis
Pedro Ramirez, from Russellville High School, has been selected to participate in SADD SPEAKs (Students for Policy, Education, Advocacy and Knowledge), a two-day youth advocacy training held prior to the 2009 SADD National Conference in Washington, D.C. this July.
SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) has embarked on an aggressive legislative advocacy effort to ensure that future federal traffic safety legislation includes a focus on traffic safety components for youth, including resources, programming, and financial support.
Ramirez was one of only 21 students nationwide selected to participate in this prestigious program. SADD SPEAKs students will provide a youth perspective on proposed legislation, educate fellow National Conference attendees, and be an integral part of SADD's Capitol Hill rally. They will be legislative ambassadors for SADD and the broader youth traffic safety movement as they conduct personal visits with their congressional representatives about vital heath and safety issues.
"SADD students can be powerful and persuasive voices in the legislative process. Pedro was selected based upon his involvement in local school and community issues and dedication to SADD activities and a substance-free lifestyle," said SADD Executive Director Penny Wells. "Being chosen to participate in SADD SPEAKs is a great honor and provides an opportunity to represent students in SADD chapters across the country who are dedicated to changing their lives and the lives of their peers."
Ramirez will participate in SADD SPEAKs training July 10 – 12 and the SADD National Conference July 12 – 15. He will take the skills learned back to his chapter and state after the conference and put them to use locally. Through this once-in-a-lifetime experience, this diverse group of young people will gain a remarkable overview of the duties and privileges of each citizen in a democratic society and find out how they can use civic action to bring about positive change for their own and future generations.
For more than a quarter-century, SADD has been committed to empowering young people to lead education and prevention initiatives in their schools and communities. Founded as Students Against Driving Drunk in 1981, SADD has become the nation's leading peer-to-peer youth education, prevention, and activism organization, with nearly 10,000 chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges nationwide. SADD now highlights prevention of many destructive behaviors that are harmful to young people, including underage drinking, substance abuse, risky and impaired driving, and teen violence and suicide.