American students serving as role models to younger generations
from left, are: Kimberly Ollinger, Hailie Henderson, Jolee
Bullshoe, Olivia Hall, Dale Ann Cobell, and Hayden Campos
(not pictured; Ashley BearChild). (photo Courtesy Browning
A group of seven Native American students at Browning High School
in Montana will serve as role models to help middle school students
avoid drugs and alcohol with a substance abuse prevention program
called Be Under Your Own Influence.
The program is primarily designed for seventh graders and has
been found to reduce substance use through positive, future-oriented
The high school role models can connect with middle school
students on sensitive issues in an authentic and meaningful way,
Principal Investigator Kathleen Kelly said in a press release. They
can talk to the younger students about how being drug and alcohol-free
is a way for them to express themselves and to reach their goals.
As a part of the Be Under Your Own Influence program
the Native American students have already held an assembly for seventh
graders and hung posters in the middle school and around the community.
The role models, who are all affiliated with the Blackfeet
Tribe, have more activities planned as well, like a lunch with
the seventh graders and they will lead a panel about staying drug
and alcohol free. The Native American students will also be handing
out business cards and posters with the Be Under Your Own Influence
Scare tactics and negative messages from the old anti-drug
campaigns may have short-term effects, but the results dont
typically last, Kelly said. Weve found that role
models speak in a way that resonates with students and creates a
stronger sense of community support.
The Native American students serving as role models are all
in 11th grade. They are Kimberly Ollinger, Hailie Henderson, Jolee
Bullshoe, Olivia Hall, Dale Ann Cobell, Hayden Campoes, and Ashley
Browning Public Schools is one of three communities in the nation
currently participating in the peer-delivered program funded by
a grant from the National Institute
on Drug Abuse. The program is being evaluated by Colorado State
Universitys Tri Ethnic Research Center.