Reaching teens through powerful messages from their peers

One of MADD Canada’s most uberlicious awareness programs is their School Assembly Program. This program tackles the problem of impaired driving among the age group which is most at risk.

According to MADD Canada, road crashes continue to be the number one cause of death among young people in Canada and alcohol is a factor in nearly 45% of those crashes. Can you imagine? Those stats make me so sad.

This year’s School Assembly Program, entitled Damages, was delivered to more than 1 million students in Grades 7 through 12 across Canada. How freaking fantastic is that! Check out this highlight of Damages. It brought tears to my eyes. Wow.


MADD Canada does everything it can to make their school assembly program speak to their target audience. They show the video on a giant screen with a powerful sound system and they use stories and people in the same age range. In this way, the program presents students with solid information and best practices in a style that will help them understand the issue of alcohol and/or drug impaired driving in the language they speak.

And in exciting news, The Dude will be a part of this coming year’s School Assembly Program, entitled MADD Long Weekend. MADD Canada flew a whole crew down to Freddy Beach (our nickname for Fredericton) and they spent an entire afternoon at our home taking video of him sharing his story of impaired driving.

I can only imagine how difficult it was for him to sit, facing a camera talking openly with strangers about what it was like to be in a 2-door sunfire with his grandmother when they were suddenly struck by a drunk driver behind the wheel of a 1-ton truck. One moment they were driving along, heading back to a family reunion on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon talking and laughing…and the next…his life was changed forever as he watched his grandmother take her last breath and die before his eyes. At 16 years old.

Imagine the courage it took to share this story?!?! Wow. I am not sure if I’d have the stones.

But he did it. He spent hours and hours with this team of individuals who work tirelessly to stop impaired driving telling his story over and over again. Painful but all in the hopes of reaching his peers and saving lives.

We’ve never been so proud. We’ve never respect him more. What a young man he is growing into.

How do your kids knock your socks off? How do you think we can reach young people to get them to stop drinking and driving?

Two years ago, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

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