The Green River Teen Leadership Conference celebrated its 25th anniversary Nov. 3-4, 2016, at the Mount Saint Joseph Conference and Retreat Center. A total of 77 teenagers from eight high schools in the Green River area participated.
The purpose of the conference is to engage sophomores and juniors in developing substance abuse prevention programs in their schools and communities. The students are recommended by their drug-free clubs.
“We started coming here before the Center was renovated,” said Gary Hall, one of the staff members for the conference. Hall is senior director of River Valley Behavioral Health Regional Prevention Center in Owensboro, Ky.
Students from Owensboro Catholic, Owensboro and Daviess County high schools were joined by students from McLean County, Hancock County, Ohio County, Webster County and Union County high schools.
On the evening of Nov. 3, Becky Horn, a health educator with the Green River District Health Department, talked to the students about the unknowns involved with electronic cigarettes.
“They’re not regulated, so we don’t know if they are less harmful than regular cigarettes,” Horn said. “They are a lot more attractive to middle school kids. They come in flavors, colors, even some sparkles. They are much more enticing.”
The adults working with the teens during the conference are empowering the young people to be leaders among their peers, Horn said.
“They can do the work that I can’t do as one person, or as an adult,” Horn said. “Kids listen to other kids, for good or bad.”
Here are pictures from Nov. 4.