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The Nation's Premier Youth Health & Safety Organization
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SADD NEWS

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Announces New Partnership with TextLess Live More

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Washington, D.C. – Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is pleased to announce a new partnership with TextLess Live More to support their mission and continue to empower student leaders with resources to combat distracted driving at the local, state and federal level.

As the nation’s premier youth health and safety organization, SADD is always looking for new peer-to-peer educational trainings, programs and awareness campaigns that will equip its students with resources to help them in their outreach efforts. The TextLess Live More program is an important addition to our youth traffic safety programming and will be a valuable tool for our chapters across the country.

TextLess Live More was founded by students at Milton Academy, after their classmate and friend Merritt Levitan, a recent high school graduate, was hit and killed by a distracted driver in July of 2013. TextLess Live More is committed to educating all drivers on the dangers of driving while distracted and ending this deadly epidemic.

“We are honored to partner with TextLess Live More to empower student leaders with the tools they need to combat distracted driving,” said Rick Birt, SADD President and CEO. “Their resources will equip our students to further educate their peers on the dangers of this risky behavior.”

“We share and support SADD’s mission to empower young people to make good decisions, especially behind the wheel. The dangers of distracted driving are real and have tragic consequences. We lost our 18-year-old daughter Merritt to a young driver who was texting while driving. TextLess Live More is honored and delighted to work with SADD to end distracted driving and make driving safer for everyone.” Rich Levitan, CEO TextLess Live More.

Your chapter can receive FREE wristbands and phone stickers when you register to host a TextLess Live More event in April to support Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Simply fill out the form found here to get started! Once you complete the form, your freebies will be shipped to you at no cost and you will receive a TLLM toolkit to start planning your event today!

 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Empowering Teens to Make Change!

by Rick Birt, SADD President and CEO

Copy of Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.

Scroll through your newsfeed, turn on the news, open the newspaper – there is no shortage of opinions on how we should keep our schools safe. Everyone has their thoughts as to how we protect our young people in this new era of constant threats. In recent weeks, we’ve been reminded that the health and safety of our youth is never guaranteed. While we could debate policy and perspective surrounding the current tragedy, there are promising outcomes unfolding. We’ve been reminded of the power that young people have to bring about change. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen teens rise above the social challenges of the day.

The year was 1981, and in a small town outside of Boston, a similar revolution was in the works. After the death of their friends and classmates in alcohol-related car crashes, the teens of Wayland High School realized that if they were going to stop the preventable deaths of their friends, they needed to be part of the solution. Thus, the first chapter of Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD—now Students Against Destructive Decisions) was born. As the nation’s premier youth health and safety organization, SADD currently works to empower teens, engage parents, mobilize communities, and change lives around the issues of traffic safety, substance abuse, and personal health and safety.

Being a teen today is tough. The pressures to confirm, achieve, look a certain way, act a certain way—it all comes together to create a world where young people often contemplate risky behaviors. We know that the involvement of a caring parent/adult is key. We also know that law enforcement is the backbone of our culture, working to keep our communities safe. Adults can have influence, but we’ve seen time and time again the ability that one young person has to change the outcome of a situation by doing one simple thing—speaking up.

The needless and often times preventable deaths of children and teens is something so unspeakable—it’s hard to even process. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, we lost nearly 2,082[1] teens on our roadways due to distracted, impaired, and drowsy drivers. That’s an average of five young people a day. We are losing thousands of youth each year to the current opioid crisis. One in four American teens has a diagnosable mental health disorder—many tied to depression, anxiety, and bullying.

How do these statistics make you feel? Do they make you want to take action? Good! Here are four easy things you can do today:

  • Start a SADD Chapter – It’s simple. Go to sadd.org to find out how.
  • Empower, Engage, Mobilize – It is easy to get involved. Start by talking with your teens about these issues. We have conversation starters and more—make sure you’re following us on social media (@SADDNation).
  • Share a Message of Hope- Our partners at Sandy Hook Promise have great resources that SADD chapters are using to spread a message of hope.
  • Give – We cannot do it alone. Every day we work to raise funds that will help to drive our mission to save lives and protect communities. Give a gift today and save a life.

Let’s turn this adversity into action and celebrate the power of this youth movement. Let’s join these young people—who are not the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today.

[1] https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving

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