Members of the Melbourne High School B.A.D. (Bearkatz Against Drugs) Club recently attended a virtual conference sponsored by Crowley’s Ridge Development Council and RAAD (Rise Above Alcohol and Drugs).

RAAD is Arkansas’ new substance prevention campaign that represents a statewide effort to educate students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

B.A.D. Club sponsor Kristy Sanders said she believes the new campaign is extremely beneficial. “RAAD and the conferences they provide for students and teachers are a vital part of drug awareness education. Even though the conference was conducted online, the information was still presented in a way that kept participants engaged and moving through material.”

The conference, titled “Searching ‘High’ and ‘Low,’” featured Ray Lozano, a prevention specialist who has traveled the United States to educate and entertain thousands of students in hundreds of schools.

“I believe young people have amazing potential,” Lozana said. “With the right tools and direction, (their) potential can be realized and even soar.”

Melbourne B.A.D. Club members watched the event via livestream video as Lozano, who doubles as a stand-up comedian, discussed the impact drugs such as alcohol and marijuana have on developing youth.

Senior Riley Gray said, “The conference was full of information about drugs and alcohol that kids our age need to know and keep in mind.”

Kenley McCarn, a 10th-grader, said, “It was extremely informative and gave several facts about marijuana use that I was not aware of.”

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