Pubdate: Thu, 09 Mar 2017
Source: Daily Press, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Sun Media
Author: Len Gillis
Page: A1


Timmins teen selected as the national rep for a you advisory board for
D.A.R.E. in the U.S. . A young Timmins woman has been selected as the
first ever Canadian to join the national youth advisory board for
D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) in the United States.
Alexya Racicot, a 16-year-old student of Ecole secondaire catholique
Theriault, will soon be travelling to Hawaii and also to Texas to help
advise and shape D.A.R.E. programs in the future.

The Timmins teenager was the star of a news conference at the Timmins
Police Service headquarters Wednesday where D.A.R.E. coordinator
Const. Rick Lemieux explained that the program in the United States
includes a Youth Advisory Board that is comprised of 50 young people,
one person from each state.

"For the first time there are international students being part of
this board. We have one student from Canada and one student from the
U.K.," said Lemieux.

He said D.A.R.E. America put the call out across Canada to find a
student to join the new international effort. Lemieux said he had no
hesitation in nominating Racicot.

"When D.A.R.E. asked me to nominate somebody, she is the one I thought
of. I don't know how many students across Canada were nominated but
D.A.R.E. International selected her to represent all of Canada,"
Lemieux said.

"She is the first, and so far the only representative on this board,
to be from Canada," he added.

"There are a lot of amazing students here in Timmins. I go to the high
schools every two weeks. I have a lot of great students that come up
to me and talk to me.

But one who really stood out was Alexya Racicot here. She was a co-op
student here before Christmas," Lemieux told the media event.

He said Racicot took park in several of the teaching sessions when
Lemieux would attend local schools.

Lemieux said her invited her to speak to students at D.A.R.E.
graduations and he could see that Racicot was indeed a fitting role
model for younger students.

"She came to quite a few classes with me, and after two or three
lessons, she probably could have taught some of those lessons. You
can't have my job!" Lemieux said to Racicot as he joked with her.

Lemieux said jokingly that Racicot is likely the ultimate young
Canadian representative as she plays hockey and works at Tim Hortons

Speaking to the media, Racicot said she has enjoyed being part of the
D.A.R.E. education effort and looks forward to the international

"I think it's really cool that I am the first Canadian representative.
Well I will be going there with a bunch of new people and to share my
ideas with them will be cool too," she said.

Racicot said she admires the D.A.R.E. program because it is more than
just telling students to avoid drugs and alcohol. She said it is about
choosing a good path in life and preparing yourself for the future.

"All these children they will look up to me like that. They'll see
that I've been going on the right path in life and because of going
there maybe they will have the impression that making right decisions
will go good in life," said Racicot.

Racicot was not specific but said she will share her views at the
conferences from the student perspective and a Canadian

Lemieux said Racicot's outlook reflects the fact that the D.A.R.E.
program has changed significantly over the years with input from students.

"The old D.A.R.E. curriculum really focussed on drugs. Lesson two was
about tobacco, lesson three was about marijuana, lesson four was about
alcohol. And they changed that. We have one lesson now where we talk
about tobacco and alcohol," he said.

"All the other lessons we talk about how to deal with stress, we talk
about peer pressure, how to resist peer pressure, how to communicate
confidently. We give them tools they need that will help them succeed
when they get to high school, and hopefully beyond that too;
university, college, you know in their jobs," Lemieux added.

Lemieux said the whole exercise now is to help students learn about
making the right choices at the right times in their lives.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt