OHS Students attend SADD Leadership Conference
OHS Students attend SADD Leadership Conference
Posted on 11/03/2016
SADD Conference

At the Kallet Theater in Oneida, NY on October 26, over 100 students from 11 different school districts participated in the annual Madison County SADD (Students against destructive decisions.)

Leadership Conference. Ten students and three advisors from Oneida High School’s Teens for A Better World attended the day long event. The distraction of electronic devices was the main focus of the conference, in which students and teachers alike discussed the negative impacts of technology on their social, mental, and physical health. For instance, junior Lorin Leggett discussed how students and families as a whole are spending way too much time with technology, which is taking away from their time to build relationships. In fact, she noted that studies show that the average teenager spends about 9 hours a day on their device.

Marla Velky-Reger, the keynote speaker for the event, highlighted the importance of being mindful of others, being present in the moment, and thus the magnitude of spending less time with technology. She also reminded both the students and adults that you need to take care of yourself before you can help someone else. Ms. Velky-Reger also headed the occasion with entertaining and hands-on events to assist the audience with learning more about destructive decisions.  “I thought it was very effective based on the activities she had us participating in; it applied to adults as well as the many students that were in attendance,” recalled Mrs. Haggas, Health teacher and an advisor for the conference.

Patricia Coonrod, a senior at OHS who has attended the conference the past three years, stressed that she continues to gain more knowledge every year that she attends. Coonrod gave an informative speech to the hundreds in attendance, and proclaimed afterwards that stepping out of your comfort zone and meeting new people are all keys to living an enjoyable life. She stated that making eye contact and listening to others can lead to better social skills, and that disconnecting from technology can allow you to better connect with those around you as well. Mrs. Fox, head advisor for Oneida High School’s Teens for a Better World for more than five years, voiced that even something as simple as having dinner with your family without your device makes all the difference. “It’s important to disconnect from technology in order to make connections with others and truly enjoy life.”

Teens for a Better World at Oneida High School will look to advocate respect and spread random acts of kindness in the coming weeks in order to stimulate making connections with new people across the school. OHS students should also keep an eye out on Motivational Mondays, when random sticky notes with words of encouragement will be posted around the school to promote positive attitudes among students and faculty alike.

By Dylan Ratnarajah








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