B.A.D.D. Club offers lessons

Mrs. Thomsen’s kindergarten class in Waterville along with Maui Negrete, Braxton Jessup and Alex Capi in the back. (Empire Press photos / Suzanne Robinson)


By Suzanne Robinson
Empire Press Correspondent


Elementary students K-5 enjoyed a special lesson and activity presented by high school students who are members of the Breaking Addictive and Destructive Decisions (B.A.D.D.) Club in Waterville. The lessons are part of a high school project. Students Alex Capi, Maui Negrete, and Braxton Jessup will present their project at the 2018 Spring Youth Forum on May 24 at the Great Wolf Lodge Conference Center in Washington. After the lesson, the younger students participated in an activity that reinforced ‘leaning on each other for support’ and received a Frisbee from the Waterville Drug Free Community Coalition.

The lessons are based on a program by Matt Bellace, called L.E.A.D. Bellace is a psychologist and comedian who came to Waterville to share his prevention message and inspire students. ‘L’ stands for leaning on others for support; ‘E’ stands for express yourself in a healthy way; ‘A’ stands for achieving happiness through fun and healthy activities; and ‘D’ stands for don’t be afraid to take a stand. The Frisbee was given as a reminder of what L.E.A.D. stands for and to apply the concepts into the student’ lives.

Fifty teams are chosen each year to compete in the annual Spring Youth Forum from schools all over the state of Washington. The goal of the forum is to recognize and reward youth prevention teams that achieve the following:

  • Have implemented a successful prevention project within their communities.
  • Provided a venue to showcase prevention projects that were considered, created, and shaped by youth leaders during and following previous Prevention Summits or other youth trainings.
  • Give students from across the state an opportunity to learn from one another through a series of forums presented by the youth teams accepted to attend.
  • Share success stories from youth groups with future groups to encourage sustainability of their programs according to their website, springyouthforum.org.

Capi, Negrete, and Jessup were chosen to attend the Spring Youth Forum and will be presenting their lessons along with the activity at the form.