Dec 042013
 

Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan speaks to Middlesex middle school students at peer leadership conference

Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan speaks to Middlesex middle school students at peer leadership conference

WESTFORD — Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan honored more than 85 middle school students from across Middlesex County, including a team from Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School, for their leadership, judgment, and positive decision making at the annual Middle School Peer Leadership Conference.

Hosted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Association (MIAA), the Middle School Peer Leadership Conference recognized students from nine local school districts who were chosen by their school as role model students who have committed to making good decisions, including a commitment to substance free living. The event was held Monday, December 2, at the Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford.

The students participating in today’s conference were from middle schools in the following school districts: Bedford, Dover-Sherborn, Groton-Dunstable, Littleton, Lowell, Reading, Somerville, Weston, and Wilmington.

“Our youth are under a tremendous amount of pressure whether it to be to fit in with their peers or to be academically or athletically successful,” Ryan said. “It is refreshing to see these youth who have made good choices in their lives and are committed to healthy living. This program is about supporting those who exhibit the confidence, maturity and strength to make positive decisions everyday and to help them continue to be a role model in their community.”

The program included a keynote address from Ryan and a presentation of YOU LEAD by the MIAA. YOU LEAD is a program to support, connect and develop resources for youth who have chosen a lifestyle free of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. The program focuses on helping youth to make positive decisions and strengthen a culture that is substance free.

Next month, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, and the MIAA will host a similar program for high school students.

Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. is a nonprofit organization which provides prevention and intervention resources and training to Middlesex school districts and communities. Ryan is the chair of the MPY board of directors.

Through the efforts of MPY, educators, parents, and students can regularly engage in collaborative trainings with law enforcement, social services, and community-based organizations as well as share the latest information and resources. Such interactions provide the foundation for creating solution-oriented, community-based, multidisciplinary approaches to addressing youth violence, substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, hate crimes, and harassment across Middlesex County.

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