Sanchez talks dangers of drugs
SPRUCE PINE – Harris Middle School students were treated to comedy and life lessons this past Thursday when Javier Sanchez of Youth to Youth International spoke in the school’s auditorium as part of drug awareness campaign Red Ribbon Week.
Sanchez, who is from Ohio and has also lived in the Cayman Islands, has spoken all over the world for nearly 20 years. He presented at Bowman Middle before coming to Harris Thursday morning and ended his day with a trip to Mitchell High.
Sanchez used jokes and stories from his life to tell students the importance of making smart choices. He said his passion for helping young people stems from his love for his own son and daughter.
“Comedy and entertainment is what I do for a living, but this is what I do for a life,” Sanchez said about talking to students. “Young people give me so much hope. One of my most important roles is helping my kids figure out who they are.”
The auditorium erupted with laughter when Sanchez cracked jokes but listened intently when he spoke about the importance of not being ignorant.
“When you don’t know something and make something up, it’s ignorance,” he said. “Throughout life, you’ll be confronted with ignorant ideas about your story maybe because of the color of your skin or your gender. When confronted with ignorance, it’s your moment of truth. You can prove them wrong or live up to their expectations.”
Sanchez added using drugs impairs one’s ability to fight ignorance.
“When you’re drunk or high, one of the first abilities you lose is your ability to predict the future,” Sanchez said. “You can’t control your future because the drugs control your future.”
Sanchez closed his presentation by speaking about the importance of the Youth to Youth program, which is coming to Harris and will have meetings at the school within the next month.
After Sanchez’s message, the school recognized students with perfect attendance or three or fewer tardies and early checkouts.
Those students received a free ticket to this past Friday’s Mitchell High School football game and a T-shirt.