The bell rings…30-60 7th graders rush in and take their seats. The conversations vary from sports, to video games and what happened at lunch to did you see what she was wearing. The next bell rings and the teacher gathers control of the classroom, introduces our speakers, and the presentation begins.
Over the course of the next 45 – 60 min our presenters speak about the program, gateway drugs, common misconceptions and most importantly, their own personal stories of addiction and recovery. They answers questions that the students ask, interact with them, have fun and share advice. We rush to beat the always timely never forgiving bell, it rings, the students hit the halls and it starts all over again.
We love classroom presentations. However there is a new type of interaction that is pulling our strings. Cue the Summer Music Festivals.
With the majority of our work output coming between September and May we often get asked what do we do in the summer. Summer is busy for us, but a different kind of busy. We have ditched the formal presentations, the classrooms and the 8 min stories and we have traded it in for Music festivals, merch sales, and thousands of 2 min interactions.
We have hit the road to build awareness, raise support, encourage, and reach out to people who are struggling and just need someone to listen. Almost everything about working the merch booth at events is different than speaking in a classroom.
See, in the classrooms our stories of addiction and recovery, of struggles and discipline to change, cause students to think about their own story. When one person opens up about their depression, it prompts someone who has been living in fear of what people may think, to look at ask the question, “Maybe I can open up to, maybe that can be me.”
To that we say, yes you can. See there was a time when we felt that same fear. It didn’t matter how bad it hurt, or how miserable we felt, as long as no one else knew about it, it was ok. We could control it. Or so we thought.
See, regardless of the setting, be it a high school classroom or a hot and sweaty expo hall at a outdoor music festival. When someone opens up, takes time to listen, and offers support even if there is no sure fire fix it, change becomes possible.
Check out our social media feeds to follow our summer adventures.
Thanks for reading.