Drug-free lifestyle focus of student summit

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Teens are faced with many issues these days and one subject that seems to come up time and time again is the use of drugs and alcohol.

In an effort to arm local kids with the information they need to navigate adolescence and avoid peer pressure, a special gathering at Youngstown State University brought students from several local districts together to learn how to cope with those issues.

The second annual Mahoning Valley Teen Institute seminar took place Wednesday at Kilcawley Center on the campus of YSU. Not only does the forum teach students the importance of living a drug-free lifestyle, the day-long event also helps teens develop skills to be positive leaders within their communities.

More than 75 students and educators from several local school participated in the workshop.

Lowellville student Emily Partika said she and her friends share the same views when it comes to living a “clean” lifestyle. She hopes to help those who still struggle with choices and peer pressure.

“I encourage a lot of them to come, like my friends,” said Partika. “I just kind of support them like I support everybody here and tell them what I know and to be drug-free.”

YSU freshman Braylen Wigfall was part of the program just last year, and continues with the program’s mission in college.

“There’s a lot of pressure with going to parties. But me, I’m an athlete. So, I’m able to still do my athlete stuff, but have fun without drinking and smoking and doing all the other things,” Wigfall said.

The seminar is hosted by Community Solutions and the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic.

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