Students Against Destructive Decisions members Soha Natour (from left), Andreea Rusu and Chloe Kasper from Richards High School participate in the Warm and Fuzzy activity with students at Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School. | Supplied photo
Updated: May 15, 2013 6:03AM
Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School made good use of Richards High School students’ experiences at an annual daylong seminar on leadership development and thoughtful decision-making.
Members of Richards’ Students Against Destructive Decisions helped OLHMS teachers conduct activities to inspire young people to make healthy choices.
“I believe our middle school students benefit from hearing high school students talk about making positive, nondestructive choices,” OLHMS counselor Kathy Stangel said. “As adults, we can go on and on to our students about making good choices, but hearing those words from a high school student has an amazing impact.”
SADD students Chloe Kasper, Andreea Rusu and Soha Natour enjoyed their roles as student ambassadors for SADD.
“I really enjoyed interacting with the kids,” Kasper said. “Watching them have fun while learning about these important topics really motivates me to continue to get involved and promote the messages that SADD endorses.”
Natour agreed, saying, “I enjoyed showing students that they do not have to give in to peer pressure and words can hurt in many ways.”
Stangel and the SADD students shared similar ideas about why high school students carry influence with younger peers.
“Our middle school students find high school students to be role models. Seeing the high school students in a positive leadership role, that can encourage them to pursue similar activities when they get to the upper grades,” Stangel said.
The Richards students said the best moments of the day came when middle school students started to talk about their feelings.
“The best moment for me was when the kids would tell us what they learned from the activities. It’s a really amazing feeling to know that you’re helping kids and that they’re really learning from you,” Kasper said.