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Northern Lights Newsflash Sept. 19, 2012

Regional Conference roundup story.katieanderson

It’s that time of the year again, the time when the final spark of the Northern Lights and National SADD conferences wear off and kids need their SADD fix again. It’s the regional conference time of year. This year the NLAB and the regional board members worked very hard to make sure the regional conferences were a hit. If you don’t know what a Regional Conference is, it is pretty much a two and a half day Northern Lights Conference packed into one day. “It was pretty much a little state conference," Hillsboro High School Student Rachel Murphy, who attended a SE Junior High conference two years ago, said. "It was lots of fun. Speakers, workshops and group stuff.” This year the NLAB and regional boards are hoping to make a big impact with their conferences. The Southeast region is planning on having their regional conference Nov. 30 in Fargo. They intend a day

Members of the 2011-2012 NLAB came together for a regional middle school conference in New Rockford. The conference was award show themed, and workshop presenters dressed in formal attire for the occasion.

full of working on how they can serve their community. The theme is "Southeast Regional Conference: Serving The World". There will be keynoters, student-­‐ led workshops and group activities. The idea is to make it much like a Northern Lights Conference except in one short day. The Northeast region is planning on having their theme of the conference be "Northeast Regional Conference: The Sea of

Change". Also this year, the NLAB wanted to make the regional boards to be more involved and more known. Therefore the regional board members will be involved in the planning. They will also help at the conference by leading workshops or icebreakers. The boards hope to make ground with the conference and to help the kids stay motivated the whole school year long.


Lisbon leads in informing story.staffreport

Lisbon SADD, started in 2005, has been busy so far this year. The year kicked off with a S’more Fun with SADD meeting for both the junior and senior high groups. Hot dogs and s’mores were roasted over the campfire as contracts were updates and election of officers were held. Alexis Swonger was elected as president for the junior high and Cassie Witte was elected as president for the senior high group. After elections, Lisbon got busy with Red Ribbon week with the theme for the year as “The Best Me Is Drug Free”. Due to testing that is occurring in the school during that time, Lisbon is celebrating Red Ribbon Week Oct.15 – 17. SADD members gathered at the fence just north of the Lisbon school Oct. 14 to weave a message (the national theme) into the fence for all to see. Additionally, SADD members tied red ribbons up and down main street to increase awareness for Red Ribbon week. Lisbon businesses were also invited to help increase community awareness about Red Ribbon week by decorating their store windows. Lisbon SADD members declared special days at school in celebration of Red Ribbon week: Monday was SADD awareness day – SADD members were encouraged to wear their SADD shirts and passed out “Open your Eyes” buttons to educate others about SADD programming and

fun! High school SADD members wore black to signify those lives lots to drugs and alcohol related deaths. Additionally, high school SADD members placed outlines of bodies on the floors of the school with statistics of drug related fatalities. Tuesday was declared “Wear RED for SADD” day. All students grades k-­‐12 were encouraged to wear red in observance of Red Ribbon week. Participating students then gathered at the fence and took a group picture together. Wednesday was “Put a CAP on Drugs” day. For a $1 donation, students could wear a cap to school. All money raised will be donation to the local food pantry. Wednesday, as students left on a break from school for the NDEA convention, SADD students handed out red ribbons for students to take home and tie around a tree, pole or mailbox in recognition of Red Ribbon week until Oct. 31. It is their hope to literally “paint the town red” in observance of Red Ribbon week in Lisbon. Their Red Ribbon week activities and photos will be submitted in a contest with hopes of winning an IPAD for their school Lisbon SADD also had a Free Will rummage/bake sale Oct. 27 at United Methodist Church in Lisbon. All proceeds supported the students efforts in providing a fun,

safe alternative to making destructive decisions right here in Lisbon. Probably one of their more exciting projects was the haunted garage on Halloween. They will hand out candy and allow them to look through their spooky hallowed creation. They promised not so scare the “little gobblins”, but to “turn it up a little” for those spooks that are old enough to “handle it”. Once all of the trick or treaters were back home for the night, the SADD members stayed and had a Spooktacular time celebrating Halloween together. Once these projects were completed, the SADD groups began planning for November and December projects, but they already know they will be having a Belgian Waffle supper fundraiser on January 17th. Tickets will be pre-­‐sold. Aside from general awareness initiatives, there are two things the SADD students are working to inform people about. First they want to make it clear that SADD is no longer just focused on driving drunk but on all destructive decisions. They also want their peers to know that regardless of how many activities they are involved in they can still be involved in SADD, even if they can’t attend every single event.


Student takes a stand on issue story.staffreport

The past six months have been filled with campaigns, political ads and talk of elections. For one Northern Lights student the period before Election Day was not just a passive process. Minto High School senior DeVan Helmoski got active when he heard about N.D. Ballot Measure Four, which banned smoking in all public workplaces including bars, taxis and motel rooms. Nov. 6 the measure passed with 66 percent of the vote, adding North Dakota to a list of 29 other states that have passed such a ban. “I started promoting Measure Four Oct. 30 by telling all my teachers, relatives and neighbors about what Measure Four was all about and what it could do for people's health,” Helmoski said. “Some people don’t know how much will effect their lives.” For Helmoski, his three year involvement

in Minto’s SADD chapter and other life experiences played a critical role in his decision to do something about the issue. “I promoted this measure because of my mom,” Helmoski said. “She had smoked since she was about 15 years old from one peer pressuring her to try it. She did and was addicted for the next 24 years until my sister got Asthma from the secondhand smoke. "My mom has now been smoke-­‐free for three years.” Helmoski printed out more than 80 pamphlets to hand out, and succeeded in distributing them all as he worked to inform people about the benefits of the measure. “People were quite astonished that I was actually campaigning for a measure to get passed,” Helmoski said. “When it got passed I felt relieved.” Violators of the Measure can be fined $50.

At a glance Name: DeVan Helmoski Town: Minto Grade: Senior Age: 18

Sports: cross country (named Grafton's MVP), basketball, track, baseball, football, golf Favorite animal: koala bear Favorite candy: Reese's Peanut Buttercup Fun fact: Helmoski is an avid hiphop dancer.


Meet Carrie Sandstrom story.staffreport

One North Dakota Girl has found herself on a national stage. UND freshman Carrie Sandstrom was selected as the 2012-­‐2013 National SADD Student of the Year, a position she has filled since the 2012 National conference in June. “I’ve just always had a passion for SADD,” Sandstrom said. “Running for National SOY just seemed like another way I could stay involved and give back.” Sandstrom was born and raised in Bismarck, N.D., where she got involved with her middle school chapter in seventh grade. She’s been in SADD ever since. In her freshman year she ran for the Northern Lights Advisory Board, running unopposed and securing a spot representing the southwest region. “I was so nervous about running that first time,” Sandstrom said. “I thought I was too young to actually win. Plus, I had never been to a NL SADD conference before — I had no idea what to expect. It was terrifying.” Despite a terrifying initial experience as a candidate, Sandstrom said she never regretted that nerve-­‐racking conference. The next year she ran for the NLAB again, and the following year she ran for NL Student of the Year. “Ever since my first middle school conference I had looked up to the Student of the Year,” Sandstrom said. “All I could think was ‘man I hope that’s me some day.’” In the winter of her senior year, while she was still serving as the NL SOY, Sandstrom made the decision to apply for the National SOY, who serves as the chair of the National Student Leadership Council and sits on the National SADD Executive Board. “I was a little nervous about applying,” Sandstrom said. “I didn’t know what my plans for college were at that time — I really thought I would leave the country for school — and I didn’t know if I would be able to balance my freshman year of college with the workload of the National SOY. I almost didn’t apply.” Now that she’s been both a college freshman and the National SOY for a few months Sandstrom said her perspective has changed. “It’s kind of funny,” Sandstrom said. “I was so

Photo courtesy of SADD.org

worried I would be overwhelmed, and all I could think was I can’t do everything alone — then I realized I didn’t have to. Everybody at the national level has been really helpful and the people are all amazing, plus I have had a great support system in the form of my family, my high school chapter and the folks at the NL office. I really don’t think I coulddo this without all of them. “I guess that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned from all of this, and from SADD in general — you never have to do anything alone. You always have people to help you find success, as long as you just communicate what you need and what you think. I know that those are skills that will stick me the rest of my life.” Sandstrom will continue to serve as National SOY until the National SADD conference in Orlando, Fl. in the end of June. After that she will serve in an advisory position for the 2013-­‐2014 SLC. However, even as she considers her time in SADD winding down, Sandstrom doesn’t seem to think of it as an end. “I don’t really get too sad when I think about finishing my time as SOY,” Sandstrom said. “ I know that I’ll never really be done with SADD — it will always be something that I care about, and more than that it will always be the way I live. SADD is a lifestyle, and just like it sounds, it’s with you for life.”


Bringing in the holidays: Ideas for chapters story.ellilemm

Christmas is around the corner my friends, and what better way to start off the Christmas season than spending it with your SADD chapter! Christmas can get to be such a hectic time with all the concerts, shopping for presents, and of course eating dozens of Christmas cookies so you may want to take a little break from the joyous insanity and get together with your SADD chapter and remind each other what Christmas is all about. As SADD students we promote a healthy lifestyle of being substance free and creating a community that is not only supportive but also there to look out of each other. The holiday season can be very tough for some people so why not try and spread a little Christmas spirit around the town and make everyone feel at ease. One

surprisingly fun way to spread the Christmas spirit is to go caroling, you do not even have to be a good singer to completely change someone’s day! The fact that you are there and smiling and pretending you know all the words to the song is good enough. The best places to carol are nursing homes and hospitals, because the residents there are not able to do a lot during the day so they will remember that great group of SADD students that just brightened their day. Make sure you tell them what SADD is and not just “We are SADD students.” Get it? Okay, I will stop with the lame jokes and get back on track. Another great holiday idea is to have a SADD Christmas movie party and play the classics like Home Alone and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Have people bring cookies and hot chocolate, and if you are feeling really fancy

you could hold a gift exchange and have people buy small inexpensive gifts and throw them into one pile and play a game. Instead of a gift exchange have all members bring a winter clothing item such as hats, gloves, and scarves to donate to your local shelter. There are always people in need of warm clothes and you will feel great about giving back to the community. This holiday season I challenge you all to do as much as you can to give to the community and those around you. You never know what one small gesture of kindness can do for a person. If you find yourself getting caught up in all the holiday shuffle just take a step back and depend on your SADD family to keep you on track.

I wish you all a very splendid holiday season and I hope to hear about the plans that your SADD chapter comes up with!


Have stuff to say? This newsletter is compiled and put together by dedicated members of the Northern Lights Advisory Board, NLAB alumni, and members of NL staff. Want to stay connected with this group of amazing people, voice your opinions, and maybe be featured in the Northern Lights Newsflash? Find us on the Web!

Like Northern Lights SADD on Facebook As I pass the halfway point of my term as Student of the Year, I realize all the things this year’s NLAB and I have accomplished and what we have yet to do. We are approaching our regional conference, another NLAB meeting, and of course, the legendary Northern Lights SADD Conference. Lately we’ve been focused on regional conferences. Our NLABers and Regional Board members have been working harder than ever to get sponsorships, a facility, speakers, and contacting schools to attend. I couldn’t be more proud of all of our leaders in our tri-­‐state area. The next big thing we will be focusing on is the Northern Lights Conference — open to chapters in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota — again to be hosted in Grand Forks, ND at the Alerus Center. This year, we are hoping to make this conference the biggest it has ever been. Now that we are a quarter of the way through the 2012-­‐2013 school year, what goals has your chapter set, what have you done, and how are you tying SADD into your everyday life? As a part of the Northern Lights Advisory Board, we’d love to hear what you are doing. Thanks for everything you do, you all amazing and important SADD members. 2012-2013 NL Studnet of the Year,

Andi Gleason

Follow @NLABers on Twitter Or check out nlsadd.com You are the heart and soul of this organization. What you say and what you think matters and we want to hear it! Understand that you're not alone. The choices and decisions you are faced with face many others, and the series of situations that make up your life are not unique to you. So share your thoughts with us, your story and your views could make a world of difference for someone else who is experiencing the same thing.


SADD in action


Northern Lights Newsflash vol.2