FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Jennifer Baylis
877-SADD-INC (toll-free)
jbaylis@sadd.org

SADD  ANNOUNCES 2007-2008 NATIONAL STUDENT OF THE YEAR
Students Against Destructive Decisions Chooses Alabama Teenager to Represent Organization Nationally

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., May 17, 2007 – SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), the national school-based peer-to-peer education and prevention organization, today announced that Sasha Willingham of Russellville, Alabama, has been named 2007-2008 SADD National Student of the Year. Willingham will be the national student spokesperson for the organization, which has more than 10,000 chapters and hundreds of thousands of active participants in schools nationwide.

“I’m excited about the chance to make a difference and influence teens across the nation to make better life choices,” Willingham said. “I believe in SADD’s mission, and I hope to accomplish as much as possible within the next year.”

A senior at Russellville High School, Willingham has been a dedicated SADD student for six years and has been very involved with the organization at the local, state, and national levels. She currently serves as a member of the 2006-2007 SADD National Student Leadership Council Executive Committee.

“Sasha has been an exceptional spokesperson for SADD, working tirelessly to ensure that teens are fully aware of the perils of underage drinking and other drug use,” said Penny Wells, president and executive director of SADD. “Being chosen SADD National Student of the Year is a great honor and a natural progression for her. We are sure she will thrive as a leader, an educator, and an important voice and advocate for teens nationwide.”

Student of the Year responsibilities include publicly addressing issues affecting teens, serving a one-year term on the SADD National Board of Directors, and leading 12 extraordinary youth leaders who comprise the SADD National Student Leadership Council (SLC). The SLC advises the SADD National Board of Directors on policies and programs, plans and implements the SADD annual national conference, and serves as a national and regional student representation network. Willingham will begin her term as the SADD National Student of the Year during SADD’s annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, in July.

“Sasha, class president of her junior and now senior class, has proven her ability to lead, both on the field as captain of various sports and in school and community events,” stated John Perkins, Alabama SADD state coordinator. “She is one student who I truly believe portrays the ‘SADD lifestyle’ and is respected by her peers for doing so. She will be an excellent role model for the SADD organization,” Perkins added.

SADD is a national student-based organization with chapters in thousands of middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the country. Its mission is to provide students with youth education, prevention, and activism tools to effectively address issues such as underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, teen violence, and suicide. More information about SADD can be found at www.sadd.org. 

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