Every child needs someoneto look up to, whether a friend, a parent, a sibling or even a famous person.
There are many ways teens can be role models to kids and make a bigdifference. One way is the Students Reaching Out (SRO) program at my high school.
SRO gives teens the opportunity to go to elementary and junior highschools and talk to kids about drugs and violence prevention. I'm a memberbecause I enjoy helping kids. We need to have confidence in ourselves and believein what we're doing, which the students will see and then try tofollow.
SRO helps both the kids and us teens. It lets kids learn ways tosolve problems and get out of bad situations. For instance, if a kid has a friendwho pressures him or her to try cigarettes, we teach ways to say no.
It helps the teens because it increases our abilities to present ourselves andour own skills while providing an important community service. Being a positiverole model to other students and knowing we can make a difference in their livesmakes us feel good.
Before we go to schools, we are trained on how topresent ourselves. We are taught how to handle being asked personal questionssince at the end of our presentations we let the kids ask questions.
Inthe SRO program, we also have to be adamant about being drug-free and stayingaway from anything that has to do with violence. We have to remain free ofharmful substances and solve our conflicts peacefully during our involvement inthis program.
There are many ways teens can become positive role modelsin the lives of younger kids. We can prevent them from doing drugs and havinganything to do with violence. The Students Reaching Out program is just one way;there are many other programs to make a difference.
The SRO program triesto disseminate solutions to as many students as possible. For those interested injoining, see your school counselor. I encourage you to join this great program.Always remember, if there's no help for the kids, then there's no hope or futurefor them.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.