Dozens of Miller Place High School student athletes have chosen to take a proactive approach to the issue of rising substance abuse on Long Island by becoming involved in the Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA) program. Throughout the school year, MPHS’s AHA members visit students at Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School (LADSBS) and North Country Road Middle School (NCRMS) to discuss the significance of leading a drug-free lifestyle, the advantages of being involved in extracurricular activities, and the value of working towards a leadership position in the community.
“It’s inspiring to see first-hand the impact our high school students have on children in the lower grades,” said Dr. Marianne Cartisano, Superintendent of Miller Place School District. “The high school athletes volunteer their time to provide proper guidance to our elementary and middle school students. The District is proud to offer a program that better acquaints our younger students with exemplary upperclassman and encourages them to become involved in extracurricular activities and embrace a drug-free lifestyle.”
The group of high school athletes meet with students at Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School (LADSBS) and North Country Road Middle School (NCRMS) to talk to them as friends in an unstructured, relaxed, non-threatening environment. During visits, AHA members cover a variety of topics including self-esteem, sportsmanship, bullying, and substance abuse. LADSBS and NCRMS students have an opportunity to ask questions in an inclusive and judgement-free zone, and hear first-hand stories about the AHA members’ encounters with friends, family or teammates who have found themselves in complex situations.
The Athletes Helping Athletes organization trains and prepares high school student athlete leaders to address complex social issues and provide alternative solutions to the peer pressure often times faced by younger members of the community.
For more information about the Miller Place School District, please visit the District’s website atwww.millerplace.k12.ny.us.