Erin helps make a difference

By Ilona Hanne

Inglewood High school student Erin Tate is one of 11 leaders selected this month by Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD) to participate in a year-long national leadership programme run by the national organisation.

Erin applied for the job because she wanted the opportunity to do what she already does with SADD on a more national level.

According to Erin, in January the leaders will discuss the agenda to set what they will be doing over the year. She is looking forward to the opportunity to leading the SADD representatives from schools around the country.

She adds that the programme will give her training and great experience that she will be able to take with her when she finishes school.

Erin is looking into her options regarding a career and, while she thinks her interests lie in the field of childcare, she hopes to be able to continue working with SADD on some level.

She got involved in SADD because "our school has lost a few students to drunk driving". "I thought that if I joined up I would be able to make a difference".

The difference, says Erin, is in educating her peers how to be responsible.

"We're not there to ruin fun, it's not that we are anti-drinking, but once the first drink has been opened, then the car keys need to be put in a safe place."

The year-long position with SADD will, says Erin, give her opportunities to reach far more teenagers than just those who attend Inglewood High School.

"As well as travelling around New Zealand to talk to other teens, we will get input into the way the programmes are delivered in schools and can make it relevant to them."

The key messages are simple, she adds: "Think before you drink and watch out for your mates."

- Stratford Press

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