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Teen forum on tap
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Bryan County parent Bridget Wallace is concerned about some of the pressures that her 14 and 17-year-old children will be faced with throughout their teen years.

She also realizes that these same pressures, which include peer pressure for alcohol and drug use, are obstacles that most other teens are faced with.

She decided to take action. With help from the Bryan County Drug Coalition and several others in the community, Wallace has organized a teen forum aimed at steering local teens toward good decisions. The forum is open to the public and takes place this Saturday, Jan. 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Department on Sgt. Michael Larson Drive in Richmond Hill.

"I’m excited about it and I advocate all Bryan County teens to attend the forum," Bryan County Drug Coalition Director Bill Collins said. "This is the sort of parent involvement we strive for, and I’m so proud of Mrs. Wallace for putting this event together. I hope this is just the start of the kind of community prevention we will see in Bryan County."

The forum will focus on many different facets of prevention, such as the dangers of prescription drugs and how the law has become stricter over the years in regard to penalizing juveniles. Among the speakers lined up are RHPD Officer Ray Fowler, Richmond Hill attorney Jonathan DeJesus, Bryan County probation officer Latasha Grant, Dr. Ray Gaskin from Savannah, who specializes in addiction, and Pembroke resident Tim Strickland.

"Tim did drugs as a teen and will talk about how it affected his adult life and how he turned his life around," Wallace said. "He is also bringing with him two Richmond Hill teenagers who have been in trouble with the law and are now trying to turn their lives around."

Wallace said every speaker and organizer at the forum wants to see each teenager in the county succeed in life, and wants them to come out and see that they have a sincere support group.

"We want them to come out and hear from those who really have their back," Wallace said. "We want to get them to understand the impact of the choices you make as a teen – good or bad – and realize that there are people in this community willing to help them with whatever issues they are faced with."

For more information on Saturday’s teen forum, call Wallace at 459-0674. Those planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP as lunch will be served to teens.

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