I have some very exciting news to share!! Just last week I was asked to not only attend, but speak at, the Northern Lights SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) conference at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. While SADD is a very inclusive group, dealing with alcohol, tobacco, and driving, I spoke specifically about the results of a bad driving decision and shared Jared’s story with the audience of 700. I could not have asked to speak to a better group. These kids were so fired up, and were all very receptive to my story. The comfortable, supporting atmosphere truly made me feel like I was reaching my peers. After telling my story I left them with a very matter-of-fact thought that I would like to share with you all…
“You know as teenagers we seem to have this urge to want to learn lessons on our own, but please don’t learn this lesson the hard way. Take Jared’s story and learn from it. It may seem like a small decision to just hop in someone’s car, but it could mean the difference of you being alive tomorrow. Too many times we think we are invincible, that nothing bad can touch us. Well guess what. Statistics prove that statement wrong. Statistics show that it could happen to us tomorrow, it could happen to us today.”
After concluding with this final statement, that we are not invincible, there was an eerie silence that filled the room shortly before the round of applause. This presence of silence was exactly what I wanted to hear, more so than the applause; the silence proved to me that I had made them think.
I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite TV shows, One Tree Hill. Lucas said “Sometimes when you're young you think nothing can hurt you. It's like being invincible. Your whole life is ahead of you and you have big plans. Big Plans. But as you get older you realize it's not always that easy. It's not until the end of your life that you realize how the plans you made where simply plans. Because at the end when you're looking back instead of forward you want to believe you made the most of what life gave you. You want to believe you're leaving something good behind. You want it all to have mattered”
Make EVERY day matter.
Miss Teen ND International 2012