By Benjamin Meier, coalition coordinator for Harvey County D-FY
Does anybody else feel it? That feeling that there’s a tsunami-sized wave of positive change headed straight for our community? Like Newton is on the edge of something truly excellent and just needs one more small shove? Many people all over town are taking steps to push Newton over that edge. For the drug-free youth coalition, that step is Life of a Railer.
Harvey County D-FY has been working on reducing youth substance use in our community for a couple years now, gaining momentum along the way. The Life of an Athlete program was brought up early last year as a major need in the Newton community.
This program, developed by John Underwood, focuses on helping students make healthy decisions to reach their goals, whether in athletics or academics. By raising up student leaders, engaging coaches and administration, and unifying community partners and parents, the program takes a holistic approach to changing the culture for students. Setting clear standards for substance use and overall conduct, Life of a Railer also encourages teens to make healthy choices when it comes to nutrition, sleep, and wellness, something all of us could work on.
The first step was adjusting the current Code of Conduct. Partnering with school administration, law enforcement, parents, as well as youth themselves, coalition members worked over the last school year on developing a comprehensive Code of Conduct that would create an across-the-board standard for our Railers. After their hard work, the new code of conduct was adopted at the end of last school year.
Navy Seal, Anthony Page, and Olympic bobsledder, Hunter Church, trained Newton High School student athlete and activities leaders in the Life of a Railer program this past Saturday. Through this culture change, Newton High School students have the support of coaches, teachers, and community members to reach their full potential. The next step is for each and every one of you reading this to come together in support of healthy, positive futures for the generation. Whether you are connected to the high school in any way, this is our community, our teams, our youth, and our responsibility.
As a human performance expert, John Underwood is coming to deliver a dynamic presentation on reaching your fullest potential in everything you do. Having worked with Olympians, trained Navy Seals, and studied extensively about human physical and mental performance, we are so thankful to have him come to teach not just our students, but all of us, on how to be the best that we can be. So, on August 28th at the high school, come get some food from local food trucks at 5:30, and come help transform our community by coming to hear John Underwood at 7pm.
Let’s create a clear standard for the youth in our town. Let’s raise our expectations so that the futures of our kids can look that much brighter. Let’s do everything we can to help the youth in our city become successful, healthy, responsible adults. It’s time to come together. It’s time to represent Newton. It’s time for us as community members to help push this over the edge into excellence.