Friday, May 19, 2006

Pre-Prom Event "Fix"

There were pre-prom crash reenactments both yesterday and today at different high schools. I have my doubts regarding their effectiveness in impacting behavior of the teens who attend and I talked with people at these events (and other similar events) who share that opinion. Most of the time these teens weren't "hooked" into the event. Looking at the crowd of teens there were, however, parts of the events that affected those attending (I will never know if it impacts their behavior). The portions of the events that seem to be most “affective” and really get their attention are in keeping with a line from my usual presentation at these events:

“You read about these tragedies in the paper and see them on the news. But, until you see it up close and talk to those involved it is far away, less than real. Young people think they are immortal, invincible.”

What grabbed the attention and brought tears to the eyes of at least some of these teens were the stories told by those involved in drunk driving (or risky driving) related car crashes. At one of the events a young man now wheelchair bound as a result of such an crash and today the parents of a young woman who died because her vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. Emotional, personal stories. Affective, effective stories.

That is where the “wow” factor is to truly get someone’s attention and, just perhaps, impact/change their behavior. Get rid of the reenactment. Let these people tell their story, tell their lives, get personal.

Think, make good choices, don’t take chances.

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