BONNERS FERRY — Bonners Ferry High School students have been brought an opportunity through the Idaho Drug Free Youth program (iDFY). With the shortened version of the name being pronounced “I Defy,” the students have an opportunity to be educated about drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, as well as to take a stand against them.
The program is geared to encourage students to reach out and speak with their peers, and show their commitment by volunteering to be randomly drug tested by the school after submitting a signed permission slip.
The i2i program, supported by iDFY, brings students together in a safe environment in order to give them an opportunity to talk, share their stories, and support each other.
“Through an interactive assembly, iDFY facilitators lead a group of students through a variety of activities and discussions that are designed to draw diverse students together, create conversation, and help students see eye to eye,” states the iDFY website.
i2i involves interactive presentations from speakers affiliated with iDFY, “fun nights”, and other activities at the school, which will allow the group to raise funds for trips.
“The students involved in iDFY right now are working on setting up events like family movie night. This will entail using a projector in the high school gymnasium to watch movies for family fun night,” said School Resource Officer Mike Martinez.
The program has returned, after years of absence, through the passion and dedication of Martinez and Facilitator Jaycee Atkins.
“This is a program that I was involved in as a student here. I’ve always been pretty passionate about spreading awareness about the dangers of drug and tobacco use,” said Atkins. “Since I have joined the staff at BFHS I have wanted to bring this program back.”
Atkins has always been passionate about spreading awareness about the dangers of drug and tobacco use.
“When I was a child my biological father was a drug dealer in California eventually leading my mom to take my brother and I out of the situation by moving us to Arizona to live with my Grandpa,” said Atkins. “I never looked at the situation for people to pity me or feel sorry for my family, I looked at it as an opportunity to grow and be a better person.”
There will be an opportunity for local businesses to sponsor the program. Each member gets a membership card, and upon presenting the card at supporting businesses, they will get a discount or other special deal, such as a coupon only valid with the ID card. If a business wishes to be a supporter, they will need to fill out a form and upon completion, receive a sticker to display so that the students know they are supporters.
“Any money raised will go towards sending students to camp at Camp Lutherhaven in the summer for a youth summit,” said Atkins. “Money also goes towards our yearly dues and other activities for us to do with members of the iDFY. We hope to get this club up and running with the possibility to send 10 kids off to Youth Summit this next summer.”
“I feel like we have a great group of student leaders with some great ideas,” said Atkins. “Officer Martinez and I are pretty excited to see how this year plays out.”
For more information, contact Jaycee Atkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
iDFY website: www.idahodrugfreeyouth.org.