Baton Rouge high school students join together to make a positive change

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POSTED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 6:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 10:15am

Bullying, drugs and violence have become common problems for our youth here in Louisiana, but a group of high school students want to change that.

"We know that research says we have to empower kids to lead their peers, and this program gives them the ability to do that. It gives them the drive, and it gives them the inspiration to go back and create programming that affects the kids in their schools," Gwenn Shamlin, the director of the program, said.

That's why Ailiyah Goins and Kean Jones are taking part in the "I Care" Team Spirit Conference because they said making a difference starts with them.

"My school has a lot of substance abuse and violence, but we work hard to try and get our kids involved and show them they can do better than what they are doing," Ailiyah said.

"Well being here today, it makes me feel good because all these people out here that are supporting I Care and realizing what's going on in our community and realizing there needs to be an end to it," Kean said.

Ailiyah and Kean joined together with hundreds of their peers to learn the effects of what problems, like bullying, texting and driving, and playing with guns, can do.

"I'm really excited. I was here last year, and I've seen what's in store. So, I'm really excited to see what else is planned," Kean said.

"My favorite part was the drunk driving car," Ailiyah said. "It really shows the effect that it puts on your life and what can happen to you if you get into a wreck."

"Click it or Ticket thing because me, myself, I'm a pretty competitive person so competing against some of my friends is one of my favorite things," Kean said.

Shamlin said addressing the barriers that can put a damper on learning will make a positive change.

"We want to do it in such a way that empowers the kids to address them because if adults tell them what to do, it doesn't mean nearly as much than if their peers come back and actually tell them what to do," Shamlin said.

Agencies including State Police, Crimestoppers, and Lexlee's Kids also attended the conference to help with safety demonstrations.   

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