WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 250 high school students from D.C. and Baltimore will interact with top U.S. scientific experts and inspiring guest speakers to help "shatter the myths" about drugs and substance abuse, and pledge to stay drug-free at a major rally at the NIA/NIDA Biomedical Research Center, 251 Bayview Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21224, on Thursday, Feb. 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Immediately following the event there will be a media and key partner debrief.
The "Shattering the Myths" event is hosted by Mentor Foundation USA, in partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Special guest speakers include Olivia Farrow, Deputy Commissioner with the Baltimore City Health Department, Dr. Ruben Baler, NIDA Scientist, and Dr. Lonise Bias, parent testimonial and motivational speaker.
During the day students will have the opportunity to get their questions answered by a leading NIDA scientist, hear about the true dangers of substance abuse, and also participate in poetry slam workshops where they are able to express their own feelings around substance abuse.
"This event is so important because it inspires and motivates youth to become their own advocates for drug-prevention by allowing them to dispel myths and make educated choices," says Gunilla Girardo, president and CEO of Mentor Foundation USA. "Since 2011, when Mentor Foundation USA began organizing these youth rallies, we have reached more than 2,500 high school students in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Plans are now in place to offer youth rallies across the U.S."
In conjunction with the "Shattering the Myths" event, global fashion retailer H&M will recognize the winner of the 2015 national "Living the Example" video contest. From among the many submissions from youth across the U.S., the winner, Carly Johnson from Texas, was unanimously selected from a team of judges. Her inspiring video can be viewed here.
Background. About one-third of high school seniors across the country report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year, and more than 10 percent report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller. While drugs can put a teenager's health and life in jeopardy, many teens are not aware of the risks. Even for those teens who do not abuse drugs, many have friends or family who do, and they are often looking for ways to help them.
About Mentor Foundation USA Our mission is to prevent drug abuse among youth while helping them identify and pursue their goals. Shattering the Myths is a major part of our drug prevention platform.
Mentor Foundation USA is an affiliate of Mentor International, which was founded in 1994 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden and the World Health Organization. We work to prevent drug abuse among youth while helping them identify and pursue their life goals. We operate as a Federation with national chapters in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Colombia, and a regional operation in Lebanon, which includes 22 Arab League countries. Collectively, we have implemented projects in over 80 countries and impacted more than 6 million lives.
Contact: Nicole Larese (202) 352-5532
SOURCE Mentor Foundation USA