Program Empowers the Youth Against Substance Abuse


A Montgomery County-based organization is helping teens to overcome substance abuse. The group Twelve Stones has come up with a program that will train youth and develop leaders among them to fight off drug, alcohol, and tobacco problems.

teen drug abuseThe program will be the first of its kind to be launched by the organization. It will focus on disadvantaged and at-risk children with their own peers as resource persons. Previous cases have shown that kids listen more when other kids talk to them about substance abuse.

Twelve Stones founder Sallie Watkins said they will train teens to improve their communication skills, scientific and behavior information as well as their self-esteem. “These children will become ambassadors and carry the message about the dangers of addiction to their peers and others throughout Montgomery County.”

The program will be launched on April 1 and will gather at least 30 youth participants aged 14 to 18 years old for the next 45 days. They will be exposed to trainings, field trips, and presentations that will equip them with the necessary skills to help other children of their age.

Twelve Stones will be working with officials from Toastmaster International, Dr. Silvia Mishler for self-esteem building, and Diane Featherstone for trainings on behavioral matters. The Texas Department of Corrections in Huntsville, medical facilities in the area, and the 401th state District Courts will be educating the teens on the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

Participants of the program are also scheduled to join in other activities such as gardening, horse-back riding, and archery. Watkins says they are looking into business partners that will help them expand the program to reach more communities and help more children.

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