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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Cyclones Encourage Students To Be Drug Free

Release: 06/03/2009
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AMES, IowaŚMembers of the Iowa State gymnastics and football teams traveled to Stratford, Iowa, on May 21 to participate in the D.A.R.E. graduation at Stratford Elementary School.  D.A.R.E. is a national substance abuse prevention education program that provides the students with the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs and violence.  The Cyclones congratulated the fifth- and sixth-graders on their completion of the program.

The program is taught by Hamilton County Deputy Sherriff Joe Bosch, who facilitates the training for all Hamilton County schools.

Junior gymnast Melanie Tham and sophomore football player Collin Franklin gave speeches to the students about the importance of staying drug free and the adverse affects of drug use and violence on academics and athletics. 

“D.A.R.E. is a great program and it was awesome that we could be there to encourage the kids in their decision and their commitment,” Tham said.  “I am extremely impressed with the commitment that the kids are making to make the right choices.”

Tham also talked about the importance of being an active role model for the elementary school students.

“It’s always nice to see the looks on their faces when they hear that some of the athletes they look up to are D.A.R.E. graduates,” Tham said.  “Being able to encourage them in the right way and be a role model for them was a very rewarding experience.”

Sophomore football player Jerrod Black also volunteered at the graduation.

“Having someone to look up to is a motivational boost toward making the right decisions,” Black said.

After the event, the student-athletes signed autographs for the elementary school students while congratulating them and encouraging their continuing commitment to an appropriate lifestyle.

Black added that he was fortunate to have the opportunity to talk to the kids. 

“It makes me feel good that I can be a role model for them,” Black said.  “Some kids don’t have a positive role model, so it’s important we set a good example.”

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