As part of Red Ribbon Week, the annual drug prevention campaign known across the nation will be observed at schools this week with a variety of activities, including a presentation by author, …
As part of Red Ribbon Week, the annual drug prevention campaign known across the nation will be observed at schools this week with a variety of activities, including a presentation by author, speaker, and youth mover, Brandon Lee White, who attended Linn R-2 from 1996-2000 during grades 4-8.
“I’ve always considered Linn to be the place I grew up,” said White. “It’s a special place for me, and I’m blessed to be able to speak to the hundreds of students around the area on this important topic. Drugs and alcohol have been a topic that many have rolled their eyes at, including myself growing up. I speak from a place of experience on this topic, and the stories I will share will hopefully give students pause with what they do next. What I want students to remember is, ‘Know your line, what you won’t cross before it sneaks underneath you, because you’ll only have yourself to blame when you cross it, but you won’t be the only person to suffer when you do.’ I also want to encourage those students who don’t use drugs and alcohol to know that they are not alone. They may get bullied, at times, for not participating, but statistics show they are setting themselves up a better future for themselves in multiple ways.”
This week’s presentations will include crowd participation, TikTok dances, prize giveaways, updated statistics, and moving stories. “All of this to help teens have a clearer understanding of drugs and alcohol and live a cleaner life,” said White, who helps teens take ownership of who they are, what they want, and what holds them back.
He will speak to students at St. George at 1 and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Chamois at 1 and 2 p.m. on Thursday, and at Linn at 12:45 and 2 p.m. on Friday.
“This is a great opportunity every year to teach our kids the importance of living a drug-free life,” said Osage County Anti-Drug Community Action Team (OC-ADCAT) Education Committee Chairperson Charlotte Bellsmith.
To help remind students of the message, Osage County Health Department Administrator Kim Sallin arranged for the purchase of sunglasses for each student in every elementary school throughout the county, including those at parochial schools. Printed on each pair is, “Drug-free looks like me,” this year’s Red Ribbon Week theme.
“We hope the students will wear these this week and beyond,” said Bellsmith.
Grant funding was secured by OC-ADCAT, and donations from local businesses were used to provide materials and a motivational speaker familiar with Linn.
White speaks on character and leadership to thousands of youth and adults, and has been seen on TLC, Discovery Health, Fit TV, and TEDx. He attended Rockhurst University where he earned his Master’s Degree in Business as well as a double major in Business and Psychology.
At home White loves spending time with his wife, Rachel, and their two sons. They enjoy leading and serving in their church. White also enjoys barbecuing, sports, hunting, and meeting new people as he travels around the country.
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