Student group welcomes speaker with positive challenge

Meyersdale Area School District  |  Posted on

The Meyersdale Area High School SADD Club (Students Against Destructive Decisions) organized and hosted a special program for students in grades six through 12 as part of their Red Ribbon Week activities. Members of the club: (back row) Leonca Fazenbaker, Mercedes Wilt, Emily Raley, Moreau, Shelby Hetz, Mahaley Knopsnyder and Elizabeth McClintock; (middle row) Gloria Armour and Katie Sigler; and (seated) Jaylynn Anderson and Isabella Friend.

The Meyersdale Area High School SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) welcomed a special guest on October 25 to speak to students in grades 6-12 for Red Ribbon Week. Paul Moreau, lead counselor at UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Twin Lakes, spoke to students about choices and how those choices impact them and those around them.

“The two most important things you have that can change your life, the life of others and the world, are time and your brain,” Moreau explained. “Take care of your brain, don’t do drugs; and time, don’t waste it.”

Moreau spoke to students about his own experiences and how he faces each day with a determination to be a better man than he was the day before and be a positive influence on others. “Time is the most valuable thing on the planet – we don’t get any more of it. It belongs to you and only you,” he explained. “Take care of your brain. Don’t let anyone tell you what to think but let them teach you how to think.”

Moreau said attitude, positive or negative, has a dramatic impact on every aspect of your life. “Don’t be an Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Who wants to hang out with someone who is always down? Be a Tigger, make every day an adventure. That’s a choice. You all have influence, be a good one,” Moreau explained. “Choose your attitude – that belongs to you.”

Moreau asked students to consider how much time there is in each day, in terms of seconds, minutes and hours. “What if you spent 1% of every day trying to be better than the day before? 1% better tomorrow and the day after and the day after? That’s just 14.42 minutes each day, that’s 37% better in just a year.”

He urged students to carefully consider how they use their time. Moreau used five key terms to encourage students to face the challenges in their lives in a way that will make their lives more fulfilling.

“Positive emotional experiences, find those moments in your life. Engagement – get in the game, support the people in your life. Meaning – find the meaning in your life, have meaningful experiences, be a meaningful influence. Relationships – think about what your relationships are like. The relationships you have with your family, your teachers, your friends. Tell people you love them, say please and thank you,  you will be amazed at how that can change your relationships,” Moreau explained. “Accomplishments do not always mean winning or getting a trophy. Accomplishment is getting better every day, using your brain and time in a positive way. Positive thoughts lead to positive changes and that is accomplishment.”