By Flavia Allajbeu
We start the presentation with fingers stroking the keys of a piano with sorrow. Simultaneously, a gentle yet present voice illustrates the stories of victims that have suffered tremendously from the bad decisions of another. This is how the M.A.D.D assembly began on December 15th.
Annually, the Youth In Control club here at Richview partners with M.A.D.D (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to educate and share the dangerous repercussions of driving under the influence with the student body. Although, the circumstances this year are quite different. Instead of a crowded gymnasium, a screen was set up in classrooms where Neil Cowen, a representative from M.A.D.D, shared his story virtually.
To compensate for the assembly going virtual, many interactive components were aimed to involve every class who participated. When presented with a scenario, a choice had to be made between whom to contact after one had let their friend drive impaired. Classes got to vote on which decision they believed would have saved their friend in the end. Interactions like this made an otherwise monotonous presentation more engaging.
However, what grabbed the attention of those in the room were the victim testimonies. The film shown was well done and highlighted the impacts of what impaired driving does to its victims; what was genuinely eye-opening was listening to the emotional and physical trauma victims have gone through during the interviews. There was no doubt that every student in the room felt the pain of the shared testimonials. Unquestionably, the testimonials stood as an essential part of the assembly where students got to empathize with the victims. The assembly’s goal to emphasize and educate how important it is not to drive impaired was accomplished despite the setbacks brought on by the pandemic.
Zora Zheng, club president, shares her thoughts on the presentation,
“Despite having to go virtual, I am delighted we were able to have the M.A.D.D assembly this year! It covers a crucial topic that should be shared with all of our students.” Additionally, she adds, “Big thanks to Niel for his insightful presentation, and all the classes who were able to tune in!”
This was Youth in Control’s first year planning an all-virtual event. To help plan next year’s M.A.D.D assembly and get involved in making a difference in the Richview community to promote safety, follow the Youth In Control Instagram. @rci.yci