Last summer, Ryan was one of 8 area high school students Hanover Cares sponsored to attend the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) at Longwood University. The week long conference encouraged the students to take leadership roles in local efforts to keep their schools and communities drug and alcohol free. Sheriff deputies from the Hanover County Sheriff's Office served as adult leaders for the experience.
In response to the challenge of that week, Ryan recently organized an assembly for the entire Atlee student body that featured two men, Chris Sandy and Erick Krug, whose lives have been permanently changed because of their decisions to drink and drive and to ride with a driver who had been drinking. Their stories were tragic and heart wrenching. You could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium as the students took in every word.
The assembly would have never happened without the support of the local community. Many individuals, organizations and businesses contributed to pay the expenses required to bring Chris and Eric to Hanover County. In addition, Mary Ellen Colangelo, an Atlee High School teacher, and Susan Robertson, substance abuse counselor for Hanover County Schools, provided guidance and support that helped Ryan see the project through. Both are also Hanover Cares board members.
Hanover Cares is grateful to everyone who made this presentation possible.
Please take a few moments and watch the video below that features Chris and Eric. Watch it with your children and help them understand it only takes one poor decision to permanently change their lives.