Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jun 2007
Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)
Copyright: 2007 Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Author: Adriana Garza
Bookmark: (Youth)


CORPUS CHRISTI -- It isn't difficult for King High School student Drew
Crocker to avoid smoking and underage drinking. He knows that
cigarettes contain carcinogens and that alcohol is considered a
gateway drug.

The 17-year-old Junior ROTC officer said the decision to stay drug-
and tobacco-free is also a matter of duty.

"I want to be a positive example," Drew said, adding that his role in
ROTC motivates him to make responsible decisions.

Drew was one of three teens from the Corpus Christi Youth Advisory
Council who met with more than 75 youth service providers and city
leaders Friday at the Community Connections forum to discuss youth
issues and what community leaders can do to help.

The teens focused on substance abuse, teen pregnancy and voter

Drew suggested solutions to the substance abuse issue including
increasing the price of alcohol and enforcing a zero-tolerance policy
for alcohol offenses.

King senior Joseph Trevino said teens often do not receive enough
information in school about sexuality.

Uninformed teens are then bombarded with sexual images in film,
television and the Internet, Joseph said, which leads some to make
poor life choices.

Joseph said schools should include more instruction about unprotected
sex. Recent Miller High School graduate Adan Zamora said there are
many issues young people can get motivated about, including the war in
Iraq, human rights, reproductive rights and health care.

Brian Silva, a member of the city's Commission on Children and Youth,
which co-sponsored the forum, said opening the dialogue between young
people and adults is an important step in shaping the future of the

"When you have adults listening to what the youth has to say, it
sometimes can bring about a harsh reality," Silva said. "It is
important to collaborate and get everybody involved in these issues."
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