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Tears Inc. hosts Teen Summit at Russell County High School

RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala (WRBL) - Russell County High School students received an education outside of the classroom, and about real life issues during the Teen Summit Friday.

"Our children are exposed to things that we don't realize they're exposed to, and it really is advantageous for them to be exposed in a positive manner, because if they don't hear it from the right sources, so they can be deterred from doing the wrong thing, they'll hear from the wrong source, and may go down the path we really don't want them to go down," says RCHS principal, Shelia Baker.

"It's very important, because not only are we teenagers, but you know, some teenagers go through these things, so we have to really be equipped to help ourselves and others," says student, Marqual Hill.

Tears Inc. hosts the Teen Summit and discusses problems facing teenagers like drugs and alcohol use, teen pregnancy, crime, and interaction with police officers.

"It's to introduce them to situations that could occur, but it's also to deter them from getting into situations that could change their life forever," says Baker.

The students receive advice about how to say "no" and encouragement to stay on the right path.

"Encourage them, to be the best that they can be, avoid any type of negativity, different things are going to come their way- just how to handle it and keep a steady head," says DJ Cashflow with 98.3 The Beat. 

Some of that lesson comes from their peers

"When you've gone down this path, you are not defined no more as 'Ariel', you're not defined as who you are, you're defined as what you did. The path isn't worth it," says student, Ariel Apiag.

Apiag is a member of Tears Inc., and says the program helped save her life.

She says she hopes her story can change her peers' lives.

"It would mean a lot, like it would make me feel really great about myself knowing that I had possibly changed someone's life."

Students say the big take away from the presentation is learning about making good decisions.

"Choices. Our choices. We get to pick our choices but we don't get to choose our consequences. That was something that I heard that will definitely stick with me for a while," says Hill.

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