Jack Droelle: Daring to Make a Change

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Jack Droelle (Left) at a D.A.R.E Award with the Officer of the year @midareyab

Allie Massey, Online Reporter

 

These images are taken from the elementary section of the D.A.R.E curricula

Everyone remembers D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). As elementary kids, we were taught by a police officer about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Not many people, however, know that D.A.R.E has opportunities for young people to take a leadership role in the program.

Utica sophomore Jack Droelle is the Michigan representative for D.A.R.E’s  Youth Advocacy Board (Y.A.B). Although D.A.R.E has been around since 1983 and was originally a drug and substance abuse program, it now helps students with mental health, cyber bulling and more. Students from all over the United States are involved in the program, from kindergarten to twelfth grade.

“Each year, there are two opportunities for the Y.A.Bs to meet,” D.A.R.E Executive Assistant to the President & CEO Jacqueline Ho said. “One is in the springtime for a workshop hosted by D.A.R.E. to provide all Y.A.Bs with training, information, and skills to complete their yearly project.”

Jack Droelle (Left) at a D.A.R.E Award with the Officer of the year
@midareyab

The board discusses how they can make D.A.R.E better for the kids and adults involved.

“Y.A.B meet roughly 2-3 times a year,” Washington State representative Alli Litttrell said. “The two main trips are the training, where we learn how to actively be involved in the Y.A.B, and then there is the conferences where we speak to adults about D.A.R.E.”

D.A.R.E’s Youth Advocacy Board is more than just people from Michigan. There are students from many other states who are members of the board, alongside Droelle.

“Y.A.Bs are representatives from their state,” North Carolina representative Carley Keller said, “and they are supposed to be role models and set an example of how to live a healthy drug-free life.”

The members of the Y.A.B get to go to different places for conferences and training sessions.

“There is a training conference in January, and this year it is in Hawaii,” Illinois representative Delaney O’Sullivan said.  “We meet each other there but we also keep in touch on social media.”

In addition to working to create safer communities, they get to make life-long friends and get to have amazing life experiences.

The D.A.R.E. program has had to adapt over the course of its run in order to more accurately impact those being taught. D.A.R.E has made its program to help the kids of today deal with whatever issues may come up.

“It has adapted to current events that are happening and current epidemics that are happening in our country,” Droelle said. “There’s a program about vaping, a program cyber bullying, and there’s a program about mental health, which is becoming more of an issue recently.”

Despite all of these changes, D.A.R.E’s main goal hasn’t changed.

“When it was introduced it was mainly about drug prevention, and it still is about drug prevention,” Droelle said, “because it was a major issue back then and is still today.”

Droelle himself has helped the program in many ways.

“At the conference, he and his fellow Y.A.Bs were the Master of Ceremony to our Opening Ceremony, Banquet, and Awards Luncheon; running the show and adapting to any and every last minute changes on stage with only a few hours of rehearsal under their belt,” Ho said. “Some additional activities he has done are: he attended the Michigan D.A.R.E. conference and speaking about his role as a Y.A.B, set up D.A.R.E. Booth in his community local art fare, and created a Y.A.B MI specific Instagram page.”

Droelle helps out the Y.A.B. in many ways, whether it’s through his personality, ideas or encouragement.

“Jack a confident young man and he always has a smile on his face,” Ho said. “He is a go-getter and won’t take no for an answer. Since Jack joined the Youth Advocacy Board, he is always trying to get out there in his community and spread the word about D.A.R.E. and what he is passionate for.”

 

Jack Droelle at a D.A.R.E booth at an art fair (Day 1). (Shelby Charter Township, MI) @midareyab