Rotary sponsors assembly on making positive choices

The Howland Rotary Club sponsored a good-decision-making assembly encouraging Howland Middle School eighth-graders to make the right choices in life.

Lauren Thorp, director of recovery and youth programs for Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board, was among the different speakers who discussed the consequences of bad decisions that could impact the students’ futures.

Thomas Depoy, 13, said he was made aware of the dangers of drugs, noting he has a family member in law enforcement.

“I learned to make good choices that will not ruin my future,” he said.

Kate Li, 13, said one bad or wrong choice or decision, even when you are young, could cause consequences in the future.

Principal Stephen Kovach said the students learned from the different speakers how important it is to look at situations and make good decisions.

Marilyn Titus and Ken Abell, both with Howland Rotary, said the school program came from another Rotary-sponsored program held earlier this year when Jeff Orr, commander with the Trumbull-Ashtabula Group Task Force that focuses on drug investigations and related crimes, spoke to families on drug awareness.

”The speakers from different organizations and agencies shared the message of a decision you make today can affect your future,” Titus said.

In addition to local agencies, high school students in PANDA and HEART also spoke to the eighth-graders sharing their experiences.

At the town hall program held in January at Howland United Methodist Church with school officials and Rotary members, Orr explained the battle taking place against what he calls a “heroin epidemic” as well as other drug issues such as marijuana and prescription drugs that are often stolen from medicine cabinets.

Orr travels around the area to educate the community about drugs in an effort to prevent young people from using them.

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