Region – Hundreds of middle and high school students from across Worcester County learned about the dangers of drugs, tobacco and vaping, and received an interactive presentation about the importance of cyber safety and the responsible use of social media at District Attorney Joseph D. Early’s annual Student Wellness Conference.
The conference, held at Worcester State University on May 23 had a record-high attendance this year with nearly 300 students attending from about 15 different schools.
“The conference this year focused on relevant issues our teens are facing every day: drugs and alcohol, cyber safety, vaping and mental health,” Early said. “Prevention is one of my top priorities, and I am proud of how well our presenters did motivating the students who attended to make good decisions and positive choices when faced with these challenges. I hope that these young leaders will bring the messages they learned throughout the conference to their schools and share them with their peers.”
The conference included opening remarks from Worcester State University President Barry Maloney, a keynote presentation by Improbable Players, a group of actors in recovery who deliver their real-life stories of struggles with drug and alcohol abuse.
The 84 Movement, a statewide youth tobacco prevention movement, talked to about tobacco and vaping.
Robert Hackenson provided an interactive presentation about the importance of cyber safety and the responsible use of social media. Hackenson founded Dynamic Influence in 2004 with a mission to engage and educate individuals of all age groups through dynamic presentations on topics such as bullying prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, and cyber safety.
The Student Wellness Conference is open to students from across Worcester County. Initially, the conference focused on preventing underage drinking, but has been expanded over the years to touch on a wide variety of health and wellness topics.