Student columnist Teto gives insider's view of SADD

Student columnist Teto gives insider's view of SADD

Students Against Destructive Decisions, a group at North Providence High School known as "SADD," holds events, meetings, and other activities throughout the year to spread the message of making good decisions and substance abuse prevention to the school community and the town community. I myself am the vice president of SADD and have been an avid member of the group since my freshman year.

SADD is run out of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and there are different chapters of SADD throughout the state of Rhode Island. Throughout my three years with SADD, I have participated in motivational events at our school and amazing and inspiring events run through MADD.

Last week I interviewed members of SADD to get their insight on the year through SADD and the group itself. One student, Tayla Carbary, a junior at North Providence High School, gave me her thoughts about the NPHS SADD Chapter.

"SADD is a great environment filled with great people with great personalities," she said. "SADD is an open and friendly environment made to help students have a voice within our community to raise awareness to negative decisions that could be made in a high school career."

"Sunshine Officer" of the group, Valarie VanNort, a junior who's been in SADD for about two years, said this year's SADD meetings have been "very motivational and inspiring."

"Through all of the feedback from SADD members and the positive messages SADD members are spreading, we see a lot of inspiration for good decisions being spread to the community," she said.

Becoming a part of SADD leaves an impact on you whether you have been in the group for years or if this is your first year in the group.

"I have been in SADD for about three years and through being here I have become a stronger person with my decisions to say no to bullying and peer pressure with drugs," said SADD President Brianna Antonelli.

Valerie Romjue, a freshman, spoke highly of her first year of being a SADD member.

"I think SADD is really nice and we do a lot that is helpful to our community," she said. "Even in my short time being here I have learned a lot about how drugs can really affect you, and about substance abuse facts that I did not know before this group. I have also learned about real actual stories from people, such as our victim adoption program speaker, which gave me a lot of different emotions and was very tense but also taught me a lot."

Chris Clemente said that SADD has been a lot of fun and has taught him "a lot about drugs, how bad they are, why not to use them, and if you do how drugs can take negative effects on your life. I was kind of surprised on how fun SADD was and how big of an impact it had on me. I have learned a lot from SADD and had a good time doing it."

VanNort and Antonelli reflected on how the year has been going.

"This year has been very productive because we have had quite a few different events already, like the victim adoption speaker, SADD sponsored gatherings, and a candlelight vigil, where we were already able to promote our SADD message," said VanNort.

"The year in my opinion has been better than last year. This year we haven't had a dramatic increase or decrease in our number of members since our first meeting, which is good," said Antonelli. "Hopefully these members will stick around and we can have a great rest of the year."

Junior Aaron Joyce said his favorite activity this year was wrapping presents for families and children in need during the holiday season.

"It was very rewarding to me because we were able to help others that actually needed help and I have always enjoyed doing this like that," he said.

I asked some of the SADD members what they were most excited to do this year with SADD. "I am most excited to do mocktails because we are going to create non-alcoholic drinks to promote to people that they don't have to participate in destructive decisions to have a good time," said Carbary.

"I am really excited about the Valentine's Day flowers because it seems like it is going to be a lot of fun," said Clemente.

I love being a part of SADD and whether it is selling carnations at Valentine's Day or going to mocktails, TeamSpirit during the summer or hosting a pre-prom assembly, I am ready to help with whatever I can and participate in any and all SADD events and activities.

To me SADD is a great group because it really does help people learn about substance abuse prevention and all other destructive decisions. Once people have learned this, SADD starts a chain reaction of people telling each other and educating each other about these topics and down the line at some points SADD ends up helping students or people that need help in these areas. SADD has had a major impact on me and has made me into the more confident and stronger leader that I am today.