Choices and consequences

On April 6-7 Youth Enhancement Services, a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing services for youth, in conjunction with Judge Laurie McKinnon of the Ninth Judicial District, are sponsoring a school presentation entitled Choices and Consequences.

The program is designed to assist youth in learning how each decision they make either strengthens or weakens their foundation and character and the message that 10 seconds is all it takes to change a life forever.

The program is being presented to six area high schools – Conrad, Dutton/Brady, Shelby, Choteau, Fairfield and Cut Bank.  Valier and Sunburst will be transporting students to area assemblies.

Students will hear from Dr. Marolane Stevenson, a former Miss Idaho, and her husband, a retired business man from Firestone Tire and Rubber Company.  Marolane was a pedestrian who was hit and dragged under the vehicle of a drunk driver.

She was not expected to live.  Now she tells students about how her life has changed as a result of that accident and how she lives with the accident every day for the rest of her life.   Her story is depicted through slides and presentations made by both herself and husband, Ed.

Stevenson is a counselor at Big Sky High School in Missoula.  She has been active with the DUI Task Force and MADD, and established the first Victim’s Impact Panel in the State of Montana.  She has received numerous awards and honors for her work counseling youth in the Missoula County Public Schools.

Bobby Petrocelli will also present a separate assembly for students.

“My message is clear and simple-10 seconds is all it takes to change a life forever.” Petrocelli speaks these words from experience.  A drunk driver crashed through his bedroom and killed his wife.  He was seriously injured, but by no means is he a victim.  Instead he turned tragedy to triumph.  As a high school teacher, counselor and coach at the time of the accident, he developed a strong passion to reach out to young people everywhere.

Now, as a motivational speaker, he encourages teens to live a triumphant life and find the faith, hope and love that they are searching for.

Petrocelli emphasizes making positive choices at all times, even under pressure.  Those who experience him leave motivated by his awesome story, refreshed by his charismatic personality and warmth, and empowered to face their personal challenges.

His professional experience includes 11 years as an educator, counselor and coach.  He holds a Masters degree in Counseling.  He is author and co-author of eight different motivational books.  His powerful story is presented in Triumph over Tragedy.  His latest book is 10 Seconds is Changing Lives Forever; Letters of Hope.  His story has been featured on Geraldo, Sally Jesse Raphael, The Hour of Power and the Family Channel.

There will be a “Community Event” in Choteau on April 6, 2010, in which Dr. Stevenson will present with a focus towards how parents and communities can deal with problems of teen drinking.  Also speaking at the Community Event will be Dr. Steve Seninger and Sara Shapiro of the University of Montana who presented in January to the Law and Justice Interim Committee, 2010 Montana Legislature, their research on prevention strategies for drinking and driving and the economic costs of alcohol related vehicle crashes in Montana.

Parents and members of the community are encouraged to come to the school assemblies in their area and the Community Event during the evening of April 6.  Leslie Kesler or Todd Mellinger, Directors of Youth Enhancement Services, may be contacted at 466-2852 for more information.

Below is the schedule for  “Choices and Consequences”:

Conrad High School -10:30a.m.-11:30 a.m., April 6.

Stevensons’ student assembly:

Conrad High School - 8:45 a.m. - 10 a.m., April 7.