Students Gather for Anti-Drinking and Drug Conference

7 years 6 months 12 hours ago Wednesday, March 27 2013 Mar 27, 2013 Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:01:00 AM CDT March 27, 2013 in News
By: Elaina O'Connell

JEFFERSON CITY - More than 400 Missouri teens gathered at the Capitol Plaza Hotel Wednesday for the ninth annual Speak Hard Youth Conference. The conference focuses on addressing issues of underage drinking and drug use. The conference is sponsored by Missouri's Youth/Adult Alliance. 

The students were selected to attend the conference by their teachers. The students who attend will bring back the information they learned and share it with their schools. 

The students started the morning by listening to a keynote speaker, then visiting booths set up outside of conference room. The booths included Students Against Distracted Driving, Arrive Alive, and a suicide prevention table. 

Students also attended presentation sessions. 

"My group is going to be presenting about bullying and suicide prevention," student ambassador Katelyn Goetze said. "We'll be talking about the verbal, physical, and mental abuses, and then we are talking about cyberbullying." 

As the sessions end, students will visit their legislatures to advocate against underage drinking and drug use. 

"The main thing I am going to bring up is the growing heroin problem around the area that I live, as well as just marijuana use and alcohol ," student ambassador Shaun McManus said. 

The day will conclude with the legislators awarding the top youth. For more information on this conference and Missouri's Youth/Adult Alliance visit http://www.actmissouri.org/event/speak-hard/

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