Area high school students get a lesson on Drugs

Group hopes to shape young people's futures

BAKERSFIELD - Students at Vista West Continuation High School are getting a different type of lesson that teachers hope will shape their future.

The class is part of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.

Students are getting a chance to hear personal stories from other young people about their experiences using drugs and how their worlds almost came crashing down.

Sean Eby is paying close attention to what he’s hearing in class.

"It was very touching.  It hit the heart.  It makes you think.  Makes you realize that a lot of people can change.  People can get through their hardships and they could turn their lives around," said Eby.

Speakers from Stay Focused Ministries are talking to students about an issue normally not covered in school.  The lesson on substance abuse is being taught by people who at one point in their lives, made the wrong choices.

"If you're involved in gangs and drugs that it gets darker, darker and darker.  There is no positive outcome because of it," said Manuel Carrizalez, director of Stay Focused Ministries.

The group hopes their personal stories can help teen stay focus on their goals and dreams and away from drugs.

"I had a broken heart so; no one ever told me that my heart could be fixed, but when I found out my heart can be fixed I was able to dream again.  So, we come back and talk to students and say you can achieve great things and you can go for the goal.  You just got to re-focus on some of the things you're doing," he said.

Leaders with Stay Focused say many young people struggle with drugs silently and they hope the workshops can motivate students with substance abuse problems to seek help.

"Sometimes, students think that they don't have the same opportunities because they attend continuation school, but as I always say it's not where you come from, it's where you're going," said Lynnetta Jefferson with Vista West Continuation High School.

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