When searching for a new D.A.R.E Youth Advocate for Indiana, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office D.A.R.E officer Sgt. Christine Rapp was looking for a role model high school student in their freshman or sophomore year. She chose Maitlyn Griner, a sophomore at Mt. Vernon High School.
“I became (a youth advocate) from talking to Sgt. Rapp. She approached me with this idea of becoming one, and so there was an application with some steps I had to follow,” Griner said.
Griner will have the position until she graduates. As a D.A.R.E Youth Advocate, Griner promotes the D.A.R.E program, or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, to fifth-grade students.
“We have role model students, and one of my role model students has a whole lesson they come in and talk to kids about,” Rapp said. “The fifth-graders would rather hear it from someone closer to their own age. They always look up to high school students, and it has always been a real important thing we have done.”
During the summer, Griner traveled to the D.A.R.E International Training Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. She learned about her responsibilities and was trained on the consequences and dangers of substance abuse. She also met other D.A.R.E Youth Advocates from across the nation.
“I just really got to experience the great community that D.A.R.E is, and I’m just so happy to be part of this D.A.R.E program,” Griner said. “I can’t wait to collaborate with youth advocacy members, share ideas and take those back to my community.”
For more, visit mvcsc.k12.in.us/News/1430#sthash.iFSTW8O3.Xe4r6DTO.dpbs.