This year, rain and wind prevented the 17th Annual Sobriety Walk, but the evening’s message was still the same!
Younger students talked about the effects of drugs and alcohol on the human body and the thousands of chemicals in cigarettes.
Later, motivational speaker Kelly Swanson presented “Who Am I Really?” to older students. Kelly outlined her journey through alcoholism, drug abuse and life as a gang member.
“The students were spell-bound with Kelly,” said Chris, St. Joseph’s Drug & Alcohol Prevention Coordinator. “She was very blunt and told them she knew they were facing the same struggles she faced.”
After her father’s death when she was 12, Kelly raised her brother. Her mother was an alcoholic and drug addict. Eventually, Kelly joined a gang and followed in the footsteps of substance abuse.
Kelly was arrested when she was caught after a robbery with gang members who were guilty of the crime. After spending time in Juvenile Detention, she knew it was time to change her life.
“She really encouraged students to find their identity and be proud of their Native American heritage,” said Chris. “Being half Native American herself, she knows firsthand how embracing your culture can help you avoid gangs, drugs and alcohol.”