By Mario Conde
The Imperial Valley Regional Occupation Program hosted a youth event at SDSU Calexico this past Saturday for teens and the choices they must make when it comes to situations that could harm their health and education.
High School students from all over the Imperial Valley and students from continuation schools came to Calexico to be educated about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. IVROP’s Project SOBRIO (SOBriety Results In Opportunities) is a grant funded program through the Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program to educate and reduce the occurrence and repercussions of underage drinking.
Awarded the grant in 2007, Project SOBRIO has worked with numerous schools in the community to educate and provide opportunities for youth. The program consists of three youth development specialists who work directly with students in participating continuation/alternative education schools.
Project SOBRIO staff use two complimentary forms of curriculum to educate youth of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Project SUCCESS and Project Toward No Drugs were developed by agencies specializing in prevention and working with at risk youth. Project staff present curriculums to students at school sites and incorporate activities that better prepare students for making healthy choices while out in the community.
Project coordinator Gabriel Aguirre said that this event is to empower the youth and making healthy choices about drugs, alcohol, and abstinence.
Students heard dynamic and funny presentation by Gabe Salazar who is a nationally known, professional youth speaker. His message challenges teenagers and encourages them to make positive choices in their lives. Through the use of powerful skits, dynamic insights and real-life illustrations, Gabe’s message inspires and motivates his audience to action. During Salazar’s speech the 5.3 earthquake hit Calexico so students and staff had to evacuate Rodney Auditorium and the keynote had to finish at the quad area. Student later were sent to various workshops at the campus.