Smart and Safe

Brooke Lenhart

My Essay

According to the CDC, 28 people die in accidents caused by alcohol-impaired drivers every day, a life taken every 51 minutes. Additionally, approximately 11% of the United States’ intake of alcohol is consumed by those aged 12-20. While underage drinking is illegal, there is little regulation that can be done to prevent underage drinking. And while there is no direct correlation to the amount of underage drinking and the alcohol related deaths, I realize that to solve a problem, you must focus on its roots: teens. My many roles and perspectives on the topic provide me with unique insight and allow me to present my ideas to my community on smart consumption. As a promoter of smart alcohol consumption, I work to educate those on the dangers of drinking and driving. I’m an active member in my local Prevention Partnership, Be Free Pima, and have attended multiple events educating students on the dangers of drinking and driving. Be Free Pima works to prevent illegal use of alcohol and drugs, but the program also realizes 100% abstinence from illicit usage is highly unlikely. In hopes of impacting the future generation of alcohol consumers, the program focuses on teens to create a more educated and aware age of drivers. As a high schooler, I’m able to appeal to my audience of fellow teens on promoting smart drinking. I always make a point that safety should alway be prioritized, so I’m a large supporter of driving services such as Uber and Lyft. Although these companies don’t have any formal policy on underage drinking, it seems drivers have a similar stance on smart consumption and tend to value safety of the teen and the rest of the community over legality. And as a person, I understand the fear of consequences for your actions. There seems to be a disconnect between teen and parent when it comes to drinking. Many teens are fearful of calling a parent because they’re afraid of what their parent will say. While no parent encourages law breaking, no parent would allow their child to put themselves or others in danger either. I’m lucky enough to have parent who have taken the time to explain to me the protocol following parties: that if I never need help, to call and no questions will be asked until the next morning. Naturally, I can’t expect every child and parent relationship to be exactly like the one I have with my parents, but I do make a point on advocating for communication between parents and their teens. I always stress to parents the importance of communicating that they value safety over anything. I advise various means of communication including the X-Plan, but I always stress the importance of trust. From protecting friends at parties to now, my efforts have expanded and my support of smart alcohol consumption for teens has grown exponentially. As I enter college, I hope to further spread the word of dangers concerning drinking and driving, ensuring safer roads for all.

About Me

I am very involved in my community and thoroughly enjoy helping others. In past years, I have spent time volunteering at St. Luke’s home, a home for the elderly, to compile videos of stories of the elders to serve as documentation of their lives. I am an active participant in my school’s National Honors Society where I focus on improving the school environment by providing students with free tutoring and attending service events in my Tucson community. As a part of the Assistance League of Tucson, I’ve spent three years working to provide clothes and school supplies to families who can’t afford those on their own. Most significantly, I am a teen attorney for Pima County Teen Court and the treasure for the Bar Association of the organization. I work to better the Pima County environment by focusing on restorative justice, the restoration of justice to the offender, victim, and the community. Through my large dedication to my community, I’ve learned the importance of helping others.