Away We Went, Part 4

In the final installment of our "Away We Went" series, Riley realizes that Clinton isn't so different after all.

Our final blog entry comes from Riley, a sophomore at Morgan. Continue reading below to get his take on the experience of meeting students from all over the country at the underage drinking prevention conference.

In mid-August, I took a trip to Orlando, Florida with my friends PaulMichael Mullally, Miranda Richard, Monica Power, and our group leaders Kristin Brooks and Kelly Edwards. The point of the trip was to attend a conference known as the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, (OJJDP) National Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws Leadership Conference.  What the conference was meant to do was bring us together with other kids from all over the country from South Dakota to Tennessee to the South Pacific Islands to Guam to Connecticut and many other areas, and to have them share experiences that they’ve had in their town or city involving drugs or drinking and also ways that they have learned to prevent it in their area.

During the conference we realized that no matter where they were from, kids from all over all had similar stories that we had. Many of them knew what we meant when we would tell a story of something happening in our town with drugs or alcohol and they would pretty much tell us that it was the same story for them as well. So when we all thought that our town or area was bad, I guess we never really thought of people around the country having all of the same problems as we do. So the next time that I try to argue with someone that Clinton has some problems, I just look back on those discussions and realize they might have the exact same problems, if not worse than we do. The closest kids to us were the ones from Glastonbury, Connecticut. They actually did a presentation where they gave us pictures having to do with drinking accidents and told us to come up with our own title for the picture which was nice because we really got to analyze the picture and got to come up with what we thought would be best to name it. This was but one of the great activities we did at the conference.

So, all in all, I would say that the EDUL Conference in Florida was an absolute, 100% success. Not only did we get to learn about all new way to help prevent teen drug and alcohol abuse prevention, we met so many people who shared the same common goal who were from all around the country and some weren’t even from our country! So I’m positive that this conference did so much good for us and didn’t do anything to hinder my ideas to stop underage drinking and illegal drug use in my town of Clinton, CT

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