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Since joining the New York SADD Student Leadership Council, I have had the pleasure of interacting with not only other SADD members from New York but also SADD members from around the country. Being able to meet and connect with my SADD peers has given me new perspectives and ideas on how to be the best SADD member possible. Networking can be an essential tool in forging new connections and gaining knowledge, especially when it comes to SADD!

Currently, I manage the Instagram for the New York Student Leadership Council. This has been a cool experience because I get to make fun graphics for all of our followers to see but I also get to shout out what other NY chapters are doing. Often, I feel like we can get stuck in our bubbles and forget that there are so many other SADD chapters around the country that are hosting amazing events and creating change in their communities. This is why I want to encourage you and your SADD chapter to GET SOCIAL!

As we all know, social media has expanded significantly in the past few years. Although social media has its cons, I think constructively using social media can be very useful for SADD chapters. One of the first things I did when starting my high school’s SADD chapter was create an Instagram account. I made sure to follow local prevention agencies, national organizations, and all of SADD’s amazing partners. This was my first step to getting the word out about SADD in my local community. As I followed and interacted with more accounts, I soon discovered the many magnificent SADD chapters showcasing the engaging events and activities happening in their communities. Seeing the hundreds of SADD chapters nationwide hosting speakers, doing Rock the Belt activities, and creating awareness surrounding the Passport to Safe Driving inspired me in so many ways. It also made me feel proud to be a member of SADD because I could truly see all of the work every single chapter was putting in to spread the message of SADD.

As a member of SADD, you should showcase everything your chapter does and be proud of it! Everyone within SADD can see how hard chapters work to create change and mobilize with their communities, so why not share that with the world? Social media can seem scary, especially if you aren’t a master at Canva or don’t even have Instagram to begin with, but it is very simple. Sharing a picture of your chapter’s meeting or your schoolwide Rock the Belt program is all you need to do to show that SADD can make an impact. I am lucky enough to see all of New York State’s hardworking chapters put out post after post about their next meeting or a local prevention agency they teamed up with. Even posting an inspirational quote or pre-made graphics from one of the Chapter Activity Guide toolkits is worth sharing!

If your chapter isn’t already active on social media, I encourage you to mention it at your next meeting. You will get to see so many other chapters or even discover new chapters in your area that you might not know about doing great things for their community. You can even designate a chapter officer role to social media or media management to know that your chapter is staying active on social. If social media isn’t your thing, don’t worry! You can still “network” your SADD chapter. Share your events/activities with your school & local newspapers, send out announcements to your entire school, and use MySADD to report events! Browsing through the SADD Nation MySADD group is another way to see what chapters around the country are doing to share the message of SADD.

Don’t forget to follow @saddnation to stay in the loop (& @nysaddslc to see what NY students are doing) and GET SOCIAL!

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