SpaEighteen students of the Sparks Campus of Wallace Community College pledged to help in the fight against underage drinking on Wednesday morning, taking a pledge to serve as Prevention of Underage Drinking Coalition ambassadors as they joined those who took the pledge last year and previous years.
Dean of Student Affairs and Sparks Campus Dr. Mickey Baker welcomed students, guests and representatives from various local agencies to the ceremony on Nov. 13 at the Bevill Center.
Dr. Baker introduced Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs, who spoke to students about how a life can change in an instant, demonstrating the fact with a snap of his fingers to show how fast your life can change.
Tibbs told a story of a young doctor, a true story he noted, just two years into his practice who attended a party and had a few drinks. “This wasn’t an underage person, he was an adult,” Tibbs said. “He was not drunk, but he was legally drunk.”
Tibbs said the man got in a car when he left the party to go home. “On the way home, he swerved across the center line and had a head-on collision, killing two young teenage girls.
“In the blink of an eye his life was over,” Tibbs said as he snapped his fingers. ”He spent seven years in prison. He lost his practice.
“You are working hard so you can go on to do great things. What we are talking about here is something that will derail that success. One bad decision can change your life like that,” Tibbs said as he snapped his fingers, asking each student at the ceremony to snap their fingers also.
“We care about you. We want you to be successful — I need you to be successful. I want you to stay in Eufaula,” the Mayor said as he went on to comment about prospective businesses that are looking at Eufaula to set up shop in, bringing a number of jobs to the city.
“I am so proud of all of you students because you are here and you are learning. As long as you keep working hard, your dreams can be realized. But that one bad decision…drinking and driving, especially underage…that’s even worse. At any age it’s bad,” Tibbs said.
Certificates were presented to the new members of Prevention of Underage Drinking Coalition by Robbie Treadwell, a Preventive Specialist with SpectraCare, as they were called up, shaking hands with Dr. Baker, Mayor Tibbs, Eufaula Police Department Sgt. Donald Brown, and EPD Det. Rebecca Powers as they received them. Students recited the Pledge for the coalition after receiving their certificates, pleading in the presence of community members, family, peers, WCC administrators, faculty, staff and supporters to work to ensure that the dangers associated with underage and young adult problem drinking are made known to fellow students and other youth in the community.
New inductees for the program are Rebecca Railey, Nathaniel Antonoplos, Javier Franklin, Kira Dixon, Emily Porterfield, Eli Walker, Chloe Cutchen, Andrea Jones, Elijah Walker, Tatyana Jackson, Miracle Woods, Ka’Daija Dortch, Tynesha Glanton, Tykesha Glanton, Shanisty Johnson, Keyundra Cunningham, Bnanna Paige, and Beatrice Jackson.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Ebony Crews, Director of Community Prevention Services and Kristin Johns, Supervisor of Prevention Services at SpectraCare, Inc.
At the close of the ceremony, Mayor Tibbs spoke to the students again saying, “We love you guys. We want you to be successful; you are on the right track. Be good ambassadors to the other students out there and if nothing else, remember how fast things can change.”
Dr. Baker also spoke before releasing students. “Think of that pledge like a seed,” Baker said. “That seed is not as big right now, but as you continue to think on it, it will continue to grow and grow. Opportunities are going to present themselves where you will have made a difference just because of that pledge.”
At the close of the ceremony, Treadwell presented small gift bags to several special guests.