In honor of Alcohol Awareness Month, Oxford Central School and the Above the Influence Club recently hosted its first “Above the Influence” assembly.
The school came together on April 12 to celebrate its choice to live above negative pressures and influences by highlighting the numerous accomplishments of students that attend Oxford Central.
Kayla Beam was recognized for winning first place in a state dance competition. Roisin McCluskey, Lane Wolfe, Reilly Cole, Bridget McGrath and Jordyn Pohl, students from the Battle of the Books team, were congratulated for winning first place in their tournament. Lastly, Damian Corletto, Zack Roth and Michael Hoffman, students from the Above the Influence Club, were acknowledged for winning first place in a statewide drug prevention PSA Contest.
Liz Montalvo of the Warren Hills Community Coalition- a program of the Family Guidance Center, took the time to talk to students about what it means to be “Above the Influence.” She explained that the Above the Influence message is about living above the influence of drugs and alcohol, but that it is also much more than that. Youth today are subject to numerous pressures and messages on a daily basis that influence them “fit in” or to be one of the cool kids, which can make it challenging to know exactly how to be themselves.
The Above the Influence club began at Oxford Central School with a mission to encourage students to live above all of the pressures and messages that are designed to change who you are as an individual. The club members believe that “anything that makes me less of me- is not for me” and this can include drugs, alcohol, gossip, bullying, peer pressure, lying, cheating, stealing or drama. This year’s club members are a group of individuals who have learned how to stand up in the face of negative influences and pressures and say proudly that “this is not for me.” They have committed to living above the influence and for the past two years have worked hard to empower every student that attends Oxford Central to do the same.
As part of the “Above the Influence” assembly, Helen Carey, a member of the Coalition, shared her son’s story who passed away from a heroin overdose four years ago. Carey spoke to the students in hopes that her son’s story would empower them to live above the influence and to not make decisions that can harm their futures.
(Photo, left to right, Liz Montalvo of the Warren Hills Community Coalition and Oxford Central School Above the Influence student board members, President- Jaelynn Miller, Vice President- Zack Roth, Secretary- Diana Rodriquez, and Treasurer- Tyler Heinrich)
For more information about the Warren Hills Community Coalition and the Above the Influence program- please contact Liz Montalvo at (908) 223-1985 or visit preventionconnectionsnj.com.