Talking to kids about the dangers and consequences of drugs and alcohol at an early age is obviously very important. But some high school students in our area are recognizing the message could be a lot stronger coming from fellow kids instead of adults.
That group is making it their “GOAAL” to stop drug and alcohol use at their school.
“We know it’s always been a problem in Clear Lake, and if we can even help a couple of kids, it’s completely worth it to us.”
Anthony Piscopo is the founder of a non-profit group called GOAAL, which stands for, Guiding Others Through Athletic and Academic Leadership.
His goal is to talk to younger kids about the consequences of drugs and alcohol.
“They hear it preached to them about not doing alcohol and drugs from adults all the time, other organizations. But we think we’re the kids they come out to watch every weekend. They watch us on the football field, baseball field and hearing it from the kids they look up to, we think would have a bigger impact on them,” he explains.
Piscopo is the goalie for the Mohawk hockey team; he’s also at the top of his class academically. He’s recruited other varsity athletes who also happen to be top students. It’s a group of true role models for young kids to look up to.
“I sit behind Anthony in history and he just kind of brought the idea up to me,” says Devin Uhlenhopp. Uhlenhopp is representing the Clear Lake basketball team. He is sharing a story with the kids of when he was first offered alcohol.
“People have asked me the first year of high school; want to go to a party or something. I know what’s going to be there, so, like Anthony said I was predetermined before I got there to just already have my mind made up, so people kind of already know, now I don’t really ever get asked, Uhlenhopp says.
“I hear the kids talk a lot about the high-schoolers,” says K-5 teacher at Clear Creek Elementary, Angie Lester. She believes hearing first hand from the high schoolers will resonate with the kids.
“They’re actually able to see them, and talk to them, and ask them questions, and also get their opinions on what’s good and what’s bad out there when they get to the high school level.”
And, although these kids are aware drugs and alcohol may very well be offered to them, GOAAL wants to make sure they’re prepared to make the smart decision if that day should come.
The non-profit organization was formed about a few months ago and this was the group’s first presentation.
They already have several other schools interested in having them come to talk to kids about these important issues.
They hope it becomes a tradition at Clear Lake schools after they graduate. They say they hope it becomes what the school is known for.