Above the Influence campaign reaches out to Capitol High
Published: Saturday, December 1, 2012
Updated: Sunday, December 2, 2012 19:12
The “Above the Influence” campaign continued at the Southern University Agricultural Center with Capitol High School students.
The Ag Center partnered with 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge to host Capitol in the program.
The Above the Influence is a national campaign created to stop the youth’s abuse of drugs, and to choose not to fall for negative peer pressure.
Charisma Deberry, research associate of SU Ag Center served as the host of the program.
Shaquille Dillion, president of the Collegiate 100 Black Men Southern University Chapter followed Deberry in saying peer pressure is present in college as well.
“Saying no is the biggest thing,” Dillion said.
He said keeping God first, having self-respect and getting a quality education is the key to staying away from negative influences in life.
The panel of Capitol high students discussed the problems of drugs, and the possible solutions for their problems.
Sundae-Marie Brumfield, a freshman at Capitol said why she thinks people turn to drugs.
“People turn to drugs to relieve pain and themselves from other people’s pain which makes the situation worse,” Brumfield said.
Lorenzo Harris, a junior at Capitol added on to S. Brumfield’s statements about the reason behind the use of drugs.
“People turn to drugs because they didn’t have role model around,” Harris said.
Dameka Asberry, sophomore at Capitol spoke of lack of activity being one of the problems.
“They don’t know what to do with themselves,” Ashberry said.
Deberry moved the discussion forward into the causes of pain for youth, and the panel spoke from their perspective.
John Brumfield, senior at Capitol said the pain comes from stress.
“We are young so we are bound to make mistakes, but we put the world on us,” J. Brumfield said.
He said they are stressed out, usually on the edge, and wondering why everyone pushes them so hard.
Darius Williams, senior at Capitol from Baton Rouge, a student in the crowd added to J. Brumfield’s statement.
“They want us to be the future, but it is so hard because they fail and turn to drugs,” Williams said
He said the adults don’t set a good example because they don’t work harder when problems arise.
Deberry gave advice on what the students told her they really want from adults.
“They want adult participation because they want people to talk with them and not to them,” Deberry said.
J. Brumfield said why constant complaining isn’t the best solution.
“A gap between parents and us, is the chewing out,” J. Brumfield said. He said chewing people out wasn’t the best and that support from friends was more helpful.
Harris said how the parents can better deal with youth.
“Adults could sit down more and talk more about better things I can do, and the consequences,” Harris said.
This three-day “Above the Influence” program was created through a joint effort from the Southern University Ag Center and the 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge.
Deberry along with Kelli Palmer, graduate research associate, organized the ATI events along with the open panel discussion.