Conquest program encourages good choices at TSGC

ALABASTER – Students at the Thompson Sixth Grade Center discussed the importance of making good decisions during a schoolwide assembly hosted by the Conquest Drug Prevention program at around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

“The message was that you’re always going to have that doubt hanging over you,” Shelby County Drug Free Coordination Coordinator Jan Corbett said. “They’re trying to tell these kids to step up over the doubt and fear so that they can fulfill their dreams.”

Jan Corbett said the assembly was part of Red Ribbon Week, which raises awareness about the dangers of drug use and is observed by schools across the nation.

During the assembly, students watched Conquest program members demonstrate the negative effects of using drugs and alcohol, as well as making other poor decisions, through games, dance, drama and personal stories.

“Our slogan is ‘conquer fear and live your life,’” Conquest program director Amber Gaddis said. “If students make the right choices and just live their lives, they can reach their dreams.”

Gaddis said the Conquest program’s use of performance art helps them reach out to students in a compelling, age-appropriate way.

“Kids connect best with music and the arts. This is to be a positive voice. It’s powerful, and it connects with them at their age group,” Gaddis said.

Corbett said the Conquest program made a powerful statement about peer pressure and offered sound advice on how to avoid it.

“There are always people who will try to prevent you from doing the right thing, and they’ll try to pull you into their world so they feel better about what they’re doing,” Corbett said.

According to Corbett, the assembly at the TSGC was the first of several Conquest performances at middle and high schools throughout Shelby County during Red Ribbon Week.