The four students stood at the front of the banquet hall, sporting neon green vests with the SHERIFF emblazoned upon them in large black letters. In front of them sat rows and rows of attentive middle and high school students who were eager to listen to this presentation on a topic near and dear to many hearts: safe driving.
This event, a workshop taught by student government officers from across Charles County, including two from North Point, was a part of the 2011 Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC) State Convention in Ocean City. For three days, starting on March 31, over 800 student leaders from across Maryland gathered to discuss their roles and learn how to improve themselves and their schools.
The Safe Driving workshop was presented by Lauryn Coombs (‘11), Azeezat Adeleke (’13), Lackey student, Deborah Cline (‘11), and Westlake student, Kayla Marshall. Coombs and Adeleke are respectively First and Second Vice President of the Charles County Association of Student Councils (CCASC), while Cline and Marshall are Student Liaisons to the Board of Education.
The purpose of the workshop was to encourage schools across the state to create their own Safe Driving Taskforce, which presently only exists in Charles County. The taskforce here was started as a result of the tragic automotive accidents that have occurred involving teenagers in the County in recent years.
“This was CCASC’s first time ever teaching a workshop…it will increase community awareness of teenage distracted driving and can hopefully save some lives in other counties,” said Coombs after wrapping up the third session of the presentation. The Sergeants Rye and Vaughn from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and Gina McElhaney, a representative from Erie Insurance, were also on hand to speak to students during the workshop.
Completing North Point’s delegation to the Convention were Kaylah Bovard (’11), SGA President, Gavin Norris (’11), Student Liaison to the Board of Education, Chris Anderson (’11) and Paige Wood (’14), SGA members.
The highlight of the three day event was a keynote speech from Alvin Law, a Canadian motivational speaker hall of famer, with an extraordinary life story: due to side effects of a medication his mother was on before his birth, he was born without any arms. Despite this supposed disability, Law stressed that he is not handicapped or downtrodden. He is able to do anything that a “normal” person can do, including driving a car with no special modifications, brushing his teeth, and playing the piano all with his feet. “He made a lot of good points about attitude and just being yourself,” said Wood.
On the last night of the Convention, North Point’s group experienced a joyous surprise when it won an award for raising the second largest amount of money for the Special Olympics of Maryland, the 2010-2011 MASC state charity. It was the perfect end to three days of fun, learning, and collaboration.