It always was and remains today a time of endless possibilities. High school graduation, our rite of passage into adulthood, and a cause for celebration. There is nothing quite like the hope and joy of a high school graduation ceremony. Students have reached the pinnacle milestone after 12 years of school, a recognition of not only their accomplishment, but also an acknowledgement of their family and mentors who helped guide them to the precipice of the next stage of their lives: adulthood.
Though it is hard to believe, my son just turned 18, and he graduated from RJ Reynolds High School this June along with so many others. While this isn’t quite the end-of-high school experience we envisioned for him, we couldn’t be prouder of the young man he is today. I could not feel luckier to celebrate with him and our family. The class of 2021 has weathered so much, pandemic included, and their resiliency is something we all should admire.
As you might know, our Safe Sober Prom Night program has expanded into a new, larger initiative, now known as Safe Sober. This program aims to encourage our young people through positive peer pressure throughout their high school experience and beyond. This year, we have spread the Safe Sober message to all our high school seniors with our student-designed t-shirts given out at graduation rehearsals across the Triad. I cannot quite describe the exuberant joy of these students when they received their very own Safe Sober shirt as they left their graduation rehearsals!
The Safe Sober mission remains the same:
- Awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol (for our entire community, not only students)
- In spite of negative influences, Create an Atmosphere of Positive Peer Pressure
- Encourage the entire Triad to support our young people
We have a passion for our young people, and they are as bright, motivated, and energetic as any generation we have ever had. What they need from us is for the community to wrap our arms around them and give them the encouragement, leadership, support to put them on the road to success. That’s what they want, and it is what they deserve. They just need us to give them the leadership to go there. Let’s go – Safe Sober 2021!!