Posted at: 11/07/2013 6:21 PM
By: Katie Eldred

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MADD Educates Teens of Drinking Dangers

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD has long worked to prevent people from getting behind the wheel when they are intoxicated. One of the ways they do that is by educating teens on the dangers.
 
That’s why they held a special youth conference Thursday in Rochester to try to encourage teens to help others make smart decisions.
 
It was a group of students from across the state that have all made the same decision. To not drink alcohol before they are 21.
 
"Yea I do have people that try to push it, but I just say no," said Octavia Kimbell.
 
Kimbell, from Cooper High School, is just one of the student leaders that came to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Youth Jam Thursday.
 
"I'm glad to be here and to see different ways that people can say no, too," said Kimbell.
 
For some the students in attendance the mission to prevent underage drinking is personal.
 
"One of my family members died from a drunk driver," said Andrea Heinl.
 
Heinl, of Triton High School, says her pain and experience encouraged her to get involved with SADD at her school.
 
"It kind of hit me that I can make a difference and make sure that kids don't have to go through what my family had to," said Heinl.
 
Through breakout sessions, panels, and speakers the goal of the conference is to help these students in their stand against underage drinking.
 
"It's great to see a community of students who all believe in these positive messages and support each other," said organizer Lindsey Carlson.
 
The hopes is that these students will go back to their schools and share what they've learned.
 
"So it doesn’t just feel like they are alone in that they choose not to drink, and also it gives them tools and information on how to pass that along to their peers," said Carlson.
 
It's estimated that underage alcohol use kills 6,000 students each year. These student hope to help cut down that statistic.
 
"Just to make sure that we all stay safe and make the right decisions," said Kimbell.