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American Heritage Schools’ Students Against Destructive Decisions Club Hosted Mothers Against Drunk Driving's Power of You(th)® Presentation on Campus



In an effort to bring awareness of the dangers of impaired driving ahead of prom night and graduation, American Heritage Schools’ Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club at its Broward Campus hosted Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)’s impactful “Power of You(th)®” presentation on campus for 11th and 12th grade students on April 10. The assembly was organized by Harlee Ross, a junior at American Heritage Schools who also serves as the SADD Club president.



According to MADD, 13,384 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes in 2021 – that’s one person every 39 minutes and 37 people a day killed by someone’s choice to drive drunk.



During the “Power of You(th)” presentation, over 600 seniors and juniors from American Heritage Schools learned about the potentially deadly consequences of impaired driving. The DUI exposition featured a demonstration of what can happen if someone drives a car under the influence of drugs and alcohol. A DUI crashed car, provided by Guardian Fleet Services, was on campus for students to see first-hand examples of these dangers. Members from the Plantation Fire Department extracted mannequins from the mock car crash using the jaws of life tools while narrating the scene.



Notable executives from MADD were in attendance including Heather Geronemus, Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale founder, and Jennifer Walsh, MADD South Florida area executive director. Bree Ann Marie Camacho, a young woman and victim, shared her story and provided tips and tricks on making informed decisions. Students also heard impactful stories and words from Geronemus and Ross.



American Heritage Schools’ SADD Club, which was founded by Alumnus Harrison Ross in 2020, is a peer-to-peer education, prevention and activism organization dedicated to preventing destructive decisions, particularly underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving and more. 



“Power of You(th)” is one of MADD’s programs that provides youth with research-based information on the dangers of underage drinking and drug use. It aims to prepare youth with the tools to resist peer pressure and empower them to take the next step and influence their friends to make the right choices. 



“We’re grateful to work with MADD to educate our students and bring awareness to the dangers of impaired and destructive driving, especially ahead of special celebrations such as prom and graduation,” said Dr. Doug Laurie, president of American Heritage Schools. “We are proud of our students who are part of the SADD Club and helped bring this impactful presentation to our students.” 



“It was a great honor to work with the SADD Club and the staff at American Heritage Schools to once again host MADD’s Power of You(th) presentation on campus to educate students on the tragedies that drunk driving causes,” said Geronemus. “Events such as these raise awareness and put us one step closer to seeing a future with no more victims of this 100 percent preventable crime.”


At 16 years old, Camacho's life was irrevocably altered when her beloved 13-year-old sister, Kaley Marie Camacho, tragically lost her life in a devastating drunk driving crash. On that fateful day, Camacho, her father and sister were driving when their vehicle was violently struck by a driver who was three times over the legal limit and recklessly speeding at over 100 mph illegally in the bus lane. To compound the tragedy, the reckless driver fled the scene, leaving behind a trail of destruction and heartache. This profound loss propelled Camacho into a tireless campaign against drunk driving, where she vowed to honor her sister's memory by advocating for greater awareness and prevention measures. Through her unwavering commitment to turning personal tragedy into societal change, Camacho inspires others to join her in the fight for safer roads and brighter futures. Today, she puts double the effort behind anything she does because she does it for two, ensuring that her sister's memory lives on through her relentless advocacy.



In South Florida, the local MADD affiliate’s annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K has raised more than $3.7 million since it was founded in 2011 by Heather Geronemus, whose late father, Dr. Robert Perry Geronemus, was struck and killed by a drunk driver in 2009. The local Southeast Florida Chapter will host its 13th Annual UKG & The Salah Foundation Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K presented by the Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County. The event includes an in-person race on Sunday, April 28, starting near Huizenga Plaza in Fort Lauderdale, plus a virtual participation option. American Heritage Schools’ SADD Club will attend the race. 


More on American Heritage Schools:


American Heritage Schools, founded in 1965, is a nationally-ranked private, nonsectarian, and co-educational college preparatory day school with two 40-acre campuses: the Broward Campus is located in Plantation, Florida, and the Palm Beach Campus is located in Delray Beach, Florida. Its campuses serve approximately 4,800 students in PK3 through 12th grades, and the student body represents over 60 different countries throughout the world. Approximately 70 percent of the faculty hold postgraduate degrees. American Heritage Schools is nationally and internationally accredited by the following associations: Association of Independent Schools of Florida (AISF), Middle States Association (MSA-CESS), and National Council for Private Schools. The Lower School includes advanced classes and 15 electives, and the Upper School offers over 300 courses with 138 honors classes, 28 Advanced Placement classes, and 75 fine arts classes. Pre-professional programs are offered in pre-med, pre-law, pre-engineering, biomedical engineering, business & entrepreneurship, and computer science with classes taught daily by doctors, surgeons, lawyers, judges, engineers, and computer scientists currently practicing in their fields. For 13 years, American Heritage Schools has been ranked the No. 1 high school in Florida for the highest number of National Merit Scholars, and the school is home to the No. 1 math competition team out of all private schools in the U.S. The Model UN team is top 3 in the nation, and the Speech and Debate team is in the top 1% in the nation. American Heritage Schools is ranked among the top private schools in Florida in STEM, according to Niche.


For more information about American Heritage Schools, visit its website at www.ahschool.com


Broward Campus: (954) 472-0022 ext. 1 or email admissions.broward@ahschool.com

Palm Beach Campus: (561) 495-7272 ext. 1 or email admissions.palmbeach@ahschool.com


More on MADD 


Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every nine minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. In Southeast Florida, the organization’s annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K has raised more than $3.7 million since 2011. Under MADD Southeast Florida, hundreds of free events take place each year to educate youth and parents on the dangers and consequences of impaired driving in Broward, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Counties. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

By ML Staff. Images courtesy of American Heritage Schools

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