Sunday, August 21, 2016

"We were that 'normal' family."

Please take the time to read Katie Donovan's story.  Example is trying to arrange an opportunity for Katie to speak at an Example event this year.  This mother's story is one that all parents and children need  to read.

“We were that ‘normal’ family.”
So opens Katie Donovan’s first blog post on “A Mother’s Addiction Journey,” the story of her daughter Brittany Sherfield’s seven-year battle with heroin addiction.
Sherfield was an honor roll student -- “smart as a whip,” her mother writes. As a middle school student, she participated in D.A.R.E. She played basketball and softball at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights and was involved in dance.
“When she was 16, she was invited to prom by a senior,” writes Donovan. “We let her stay out a little longer than her normal curfew. But she ended up calling me early, saying ‘Hey, Mom, can you come and pick me up? My ride has been drinking and I don’t feel safe.’”
But when Sherfield was 17, Donovan got a phone call: “ ‘Mrs. Donovan, your daughter has been in an accident.’”
...So a terrible battle that would last seven years began for that “normal” family. Experimentation with marijuana had given way to trying Vicodin and Xanax at parties. Snorting Xanax led, when Sherfield was 19, to snorting heroin. Eventually, she was shooting up...

Monday, May 30, 2016

Example Kickball, Fun, Encouragement, Summer

Example ended the school year with its annual kickball tournament.  There were five teams that competed for the coveted trophy.  It was a great day of fun and encouragement and another example that proves high school students can have fun without drugs or alcohol.
Team Faculty's undefeated streak came to an end, but it's already in training for next year.  Mr. Horvath is designing a training program that, if it doesn't kill every faculty member, guarantees the trophy will end up on the mantle in the faculty lounge.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Grobelny
  • Thank you to everyone who was involved with the kickball extravaganza.  
  • Thank you to North's faculty and alumni for being great sports and supporting Example. 
  • Thank you Chelsea Grobelny who took fantastic photos of the event.  Please check them out on Facebook at Chelsea Grobelny Photograpy.
  • Thank you to the parents who dropped off and picked up children during Example events.
  • Thank you for such a supportive administration.  

Finally, thank you heavenly Father for all the gifts you have bestowed upon us and for the mercy, forgiveness and salvation we have in your Son, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

New Kicks on the Block: 2016 Tournament Champions 

Photo Credit: Chelsea Grobelny

Photo Credit: Chelsea Grobelny

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Adderall Abuse

Channel 4 reporter, Karen Drew interviews Dr. Frank McGeorge about the dangers of Adderall abuse.  Watch this segment to know about what you don't know concerning Adderall abuse.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Prom Week Encouragement: Day Four

Standing up for what you believe is difficult.  Some don't want to hear the truth.  Some don't know the truth. While difficult, standing up for what you believe is crucial.  The impact that encouraging words of truth, when combined with encouraging acts of truth make a difference in the lives of students, their friends and their families.

That's exactly what Example wants to accomplish.  Example wants to make sure the LHN community knows that not everyone is using alcohol and/or drugs.  Alcohol is not an inevitable part of high school. Yes, it's difficult. Yes, the pressures are great.  They are not, however, insurmountable. Example proves that with every event, every speaker, every Tweet, every Facebook post and every blog article.

And today, Thursday, April 27, 2016 Danielle testifies to the powerful and encouraging message that attending Prom drug and alcohol free is an intelligent, God-pleasing decision.

I want to be coherent enough, safe enough, and alive enough to appreciate Prom.
"Hello, for those of you who don't know me, I'm Danielle.
Your mind is made up and unfortunately, I might not be able to change that. I just want put a new perspective out there. About a month ago, I bought my prom dress after looking probably since January, and I know many girls have bought theirs or started looking around the same time.
Then somewhere in there are either prom dates or groups. Guys have to figure out the perfect promposal. You decide on pictures, what you are going to do after. Coordinating your outfit. Corsage. boutonniere. The whole prom package. Months and months of planning for one night.
One night where if you make the decision to partake in drinking and drugs, you take the risk of not remembering and other, even worse, consequences. Prom is supposed to be a night to remember not a night to forget. I tried to research prom statistics and everywhere I looked said that most students drinking on prom have at least 4 drinks. There is the risk of getting caught. The risk of impacting your future just so you can feel good today. What was the point of all that planning if you don't even remember it?
Obviously prom is important, otherwise you wouldn't spend so much time, money and moments being stressed on it. That is why I won’t partake in drinking or drugs. I want to remember my prom and look back on it fondly. A lot of planning went into it, and I want to be coherent enough, safe enough, and alive enough to actually appreciate it. I want to hang with my friends and have control over situations. I don't need to be in a haze to have fun tomorrow. If you decide to not drink or do drugs before, during, or after prom, know that you won’t be alone in that decision.
Thank you, be safe this prom and have fun."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Prom Week Encouragement: Day Two

Today, Example posted the PROMise contracts in the main hallway. If you haven't had the chance to see them, stop by and take a look. 
It's very encouraging to see how many young and women will share their "voice" in support of a clean prom with something as simple as a signature. Thank you for letting the LHN community see that there is strength in numbers. Thank you for being an encouraging voice to others.
Before today's chapel, Lindsay used her voice to encourage others to make alcohol and drug free decisions at this year's Prom.
My name is Lindsay and I won't be drinking before, during, or after prom. Why do you think it would be a  good idea to drink on Friday? Do you think that buzz will help you?  Is that person really going to be impressed if you're a disoriented mess? Does throwing up or having a pounding headache the next morning sound fun? 
Ricky, are you going to drink at prom? Would you risk crashing the Camaro? Do you feel it's necessary to lose respect from others and yourself? 
I know that looking cool is important but I'm not going to try something if I know I'll lose respect from someone. Respect is something that takes time to build but is easily taken away. We as fellow classmates shouldn’t want to mess up someone else's night by being selfish. It's OUR prom, not just yours. Everyone who's going has planned an

gotten ready for a fun night; why would you want to  be the person who messes that up? IF you are under the influence, we will know, and we will remember. We should not be compromising our prom night for a couple sips or a hit. When you are making these decisions you are not respecting yourselves as young men and women of God because you are thinking you are the god of the situation. But thanks be to God that He forgives all of our sins.
During prom night I challenge you to have integrity.  Even when someone isn't around to tell us to stop, we should be able to decipher what is good or bad.
We call ourselves young adults, but how many times is it going to take for someone reading this type of speech for us to get it? If we are young adults, we should know we have the responsibility of setting an example for the underclassmen of what is acceptable behavior in general, but especially at prom. Drinking is not the acceptable behavior for prom. 

In Christ, Lindsay

It's great to see this much encouragement.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Prom Week: Day One Encouragement

Prom week is always exciting and fun.  Seniors have a great event that lets them make great memories as they near the end of their high school career.  During this week Example is doing all it can to encourage students to not use drugs and alcohol at Prom.  Life is too precious to make decisions that are not healthy, that are not safe, that can jeopardize lives and that are not God-pleasing.

Students attending Prom can encourage each other by signing an Example PROMise that states they will not drink or use drugs this weekend.  Our hope is that everyone can enjoy Prom without the foolishness and dangers drugs and alcohol create. The young men and women who choose not to drink or use drugs are not in the minority and Example is doing all it can to promote that message.

Each day before chapel a student addresses the student body and explains why she or he is choosing to not use drugs or alcohol at Prom. Example is also posting the students' PROMise contracts to let others know that plenty of people will enjoy Prom without drugs or alcohol.

Today, Tyler explained to the Lutheran North student body why he is going to have a great time without drugs and alcohol.

"This is the night we’ve all been waiting for. One of the best nights of our high school years – PROM! As Seniors, we’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and we’ve made some awesome memories along the way. We’ve got so much to look forward to, and our lives are just beginning. Every person here has the potential to make a profound impact on the world.  

So why not whoop it up and get drunk on Prom Night? You deserve it, right? Your perception is probably that everybody drinks on Prom Night because that’s the only way you can have fun. Maybe you think you need to drink to “fit in” or get other people’s approval.

Here are two words for you to remember on Prom Night - “No thanks”. That’s all you have to say. You don’t have to drink to have fun. Think of the times in your life when you’ve had the most fun, and I can guarantee that most, if not all of them don’t involve alcohol. 

 What’s the draw to getting drunk anyways? You get dizzy, feel sick, and lose your inhibitions – basically, you do dumb stuff because you don’t care and then don’t remember whatever you did! Your innards become your outtards, and you might even be lucky enough to wake up in a puddle of whatever you ate for dinner the night before - doesn’t that sound like some fun! It leads to you making poor choices, choices you would never make in your right mind.

I’m here to tell you that the reality is that most people DON’T drink on Prom Night. You only hear about those who do. And you don’t have to drink after Prom to be cool. Don’t look for others’ approval to make you feel better about yourself. Choose not to drink and be able to look at yourself in the mirror on Monday and be proud of what you see, not be the talk of how drunk you got and the stupid stuff you did.

My name is Tyler and I have made the decision to NOT drink on Prom Night. I hope you’ll join me!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Watch, listen and learn. Please...

In September, Example held a prescription drug abuse presentation featuring two speakers from Families Against Narcotics.  Willie Kalousdian, the young man in this video, shared his descent into drug addiction, that began with an athletic injury,  and his recovery.
Willie offers great encouragement and advice for parents, students, athletes, coaches and teachers.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

It's Example. It's March. It's Madness

It's March and it's madness for so many reasons. 

Spartans are mad because they didn't win one game in this year's tournament.  

Wolverines are mad because they only won one game in this year's tournament.

None of that mattered, however, at the most recent Example event.  High school students laughed, had fun, ate pizza and encouraged one another to enjoy life without the use of drugs or alcohol.  Example's message is to make sure students know that drugs and alcohol do not have to be an inevitable part of the high school experience.
Those attending Example's March Madness proved it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How much do you think you know?

Parents, here is a blog post that offered excellent insights, advice and resources to better understand the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse. 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of National Institute on Drug Abuse for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
When my oldest son entered high school, I was invited to a meeting held for parents by the school’s guidance counselors and police liaison officer to talk to us about substance abuse in our community. Since this was both my first time parenting a teenager, added to the fact that it has been a few years since I was in school- I wanted to hear what they had to say. What would they tell me about kids using alcohol and marijuana these days? Has the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in some states coupled with the growing medical use of pot making a difference in how it is being perceived by teens? Well- what I learned at this meeting was pretty shocking. And it far surpassed just a discussion of cannabis.
First of all, they explained that today’s marijuana is much stronger than what was sold even in the 1990’s by more than triple the amount of THC. So in spite of the fact that we hear so much about legalization and might leap to the conclusion that it must be “safer” as a substance, it’s just not. (Keep in mind that alcohol is a legal substance for adults too). But what really got my attention was the discussion of teens gaining access to parents’ prescription pain medications (opioids). Think about it- maybe you had gum surgery two years ago and picked up a script for Vicodin on the way home. Your pain wasn’t too bad so you only used 1 or 2 of the dozen pills they gave you, and the bottle with the rest of the pills just sits collecting dust in the back of your medicine cabinet. Until a teen in your life (could be your child, your child’s friend, or even a babysitter) finds them and decides to try one. And likes the high.
But the pills are expensive and hard to come by. So they start to look for something cheaper to try that gives them the same effects. And that’s how heroin enters their life. (Screeeccchhh!) What? Heroin?
I swear that before I attended this meeting I didn’t even know that heroin was around anymore! According to NIDA’s website:
“Nearly half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin.”
Clearly as a parent of teens, it is time for me to re-educate myself with drug and alcohol facts.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM (NDAFW) is an annual, week-long observance that brings together teens and scientific experts to SHATTER THE MYTHS about substance use and addiction. Held January 25-31, 2016, it is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health. The week-long observance was launched in 2010 to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens often hear from the Internet, TV, movies, music, or friends. Events are designed to link teens with scientists and other experts, creating a safe place for teens to ask questions about drug and alcohol use, without judgment or lectures. One of the key resources for National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week is the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge – a 12-question multiple choice quiz that teens and adults can take to test their knowledge about drugs. Parents can take the IQ Challenge and use the results to start a conversation with their teen about drugs and alcohol.
I took it myself- and wasn’t surprised by how much I didn’t know (but now I am learning). The website also has a Family Checkup which provides parents with research-based skills to help keep their children drug-free and videos that you can watch to learn how to talk to teens about what is going on in their lives. (I found these to be helpful). So how much do you think you know about teen drug use?