Yesterday, this year’s Power of You(th) video contest winner, Christian Alvarez, performed for his fellow students at Southeast High School in Bradenton, Florida. After performing the rap that he wrote for the contest, he reminded them that they have the power to stop underage drinking.
MADD National President Jan Withers also addressed the teens, telling them the story of her 15 year old daughter, Alisa, who was killed by an underage drunk driver 20 years ago. But the dangers of underage drinking go beyond just drunk driving, she reminded students. Whether teens are experimenting with beer, wine, or other liquor, alcohol presents a serious—and potentially deadly—threat. Compared with non-drinking classmates, teens who drink are more likely to:
- Die in a car crash
- Get pregnant
- Flunk school
- Be sexually assaulted
- Become an alcoholic later in life
- Take their own life through suicide
Despite these risks, alcohol is the drug most commonly used by youth—more than tobacco and more than marijuana or any other illicit drug. It’s also the deadliest. Teen alcohol use kills about 6,000 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined. Bottom line: underage drinking is dangerous, not to mention illegal.
Jan Withers and Michal Connolly from State Farm, with Christian Alvarez, the grand-prize winner for The Power of You(th) Video Contest.
Congratulations to Christian for winning this year’s grand prize! And a big thanks to State Farm for sponsoring this important project.