Youth summit to focus on underage drinking
by Geoff Folsom
January 17, 2013 12:00 AM | 5425 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — A Youth Summit is taking aim at underage drinking in Cobb County.

Organizers of the summit, the fourth annual event sponsored by the Cobb Alcohol Taskforce, are hoping to have 75 students for the Feb. 2 event, which will be at Turner Chapel AME Church, 492 North Marietta Parkway.

Amy Hoffman, who manages the Youth Council for the alcohol task force, said the event has 50 middle and high school students signed up so far.

Instructors will teach the students about community service projects, which they will have until April to complete.

One of the projects, called “sticker shock,” sends students into stores that sell alcohol, where, with the stores’ permission, they place stickers on beer cans and other items. The stickers let people know that they legally must be at least 21 years old to buy alcohol and that it’s illegal to provide alcohol for those younger than 21.

A “Tag It” activity has students take pictures with an “Above the Influence” logo, which is intended to show that students will not be swayed by peer pressure into using alcohol, Hoffman said.

Another campaign will allow students to help design a new website for the Cobb Alcohol Task Force that will feature students’ blogs and social media using Instagram and other programs.

Hoffman said the alcohol task force does not assign blame to students for underage drinking.

“The Cobb Alcohol Task Force believes that underage drinking is an adult problem with youth consequences,” she said.

One of the summit’s goals is to expand the youth council, Hoffman said. Currently, the council has a four-student leadership team.

Elizabeth Osman, a sophomore at Walton High School in east Cobb, has been a part of the youth council for three years, the last two on the leadership team. Now a co-president, she wants to get the alcohol task force’s message out before more students head down a road of drinking.

“I really just want them to take that they don’t have to give in to peer pressure,” Osman, 16, said.
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