June 4, 2009
Stacey Hart

Northwestern High School Group Receives SADD National Accolade

Ohio SADD Chapter Honored for Promoting Safe and Healthy Decision-Making Among Teens

Marlborough, Mass. The Northwestern High School SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) chapter in Springfield, Ohio, has been chosen to receive the 2009 SADD National Chapter of the Year award. This SADD chapter has become an integral part of and a driving force in the community. Northwestern High School students use a variety of hands-on and classic prevention methods to allow students to be the grass roots in making a difference.

"As one of the most active SADD chapters in the country, this group highly deserves this special recognition," SADD Executive Director Penny Wells said. "Year after year, youth from Northwestern have carried out SADD's mission, empowering their peers to make safe, healthy decisions. Their varied and comprehensive schedule of activities, creativity and enthusiasm, and outreach to the community are impressive and set an example for SADD chapters across the country."

Northwestern High School SADD has a long list of accomplishments, including local and statewide events. Believing that communication between chapters was key, students organized a one-day statewide Prevention Convention to empower teens to lead others to success through a substance-free lifestyle. Students were able to learn from and network with more than 30 local and state officials at the conference. In the days leading up to prom, the chapter challenged teens to pledge to stay safe during prom activities. Northwestern SADD also led the charge to reduce traffic crashes by asking all drivers in Ohio to drive on December 5 with their headlights on to bring awareness to the dangers of reckless driving. At the request of the chapter, the Ohio State Senate designated December 5, 2008, as Reckless Driving Prevention Day. The chapter planned its year after launching a schoolwide survey to assess areas of special concern among the students. The chapter's other activities included Red Ribbon Week events, a mock car crash, a membership drive, Mix It Up at Lunch Day, and an anti-depression campaign.

"We are very proud to receive this award. It's an honor to work with such a dedicated group of students," said SADD Advisor Miranda Cromwell. "Northwestern SADD projects are good for the school and community and are personally rewarding for the students."

Northwestern High School SADD will be formally honored at an awards banquet at the SADD National Conference in Washington, D.C., this July. The chapter will receive a $500 cash prize. Two additional SADD chapters are also deserving of recognition for their hard work and dedication throughout the past year. South Lafourche High School in Galliano, Louisiana, was chosen as the second-place winner and will receive a $250 cash prize. Anoka High School in Anoka, Minnesota, placed third and will receive $100.

SADD, the nation's leading peer-to-peer youth education, prevention, and activism organization, is committed to empowering young people to lead initiatives in their schools and communities. Founded in 1981, today SADD has thousands of chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. SADD highlights prevention of many destructive behaviors and attitudes that are harmful to young people, including underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving, and teen violence and suicide. More information about SADD can be found at sadd.org.


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