BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– Young people in the community are creating a connection and trying to prevent underage drinking this holiday season.
They’re banding together in the capital region for what’s called, “Project Sticker Shock.”
Capital Area Human Services says this in not about gas prices, but a new label meant to warn against underage drinking.
Their message is to keep those under 21 sober and safe.
Baton Rouge Magnet High Sophomore and Outstanding Mature Girlz member Sydni Wheeler said, “It’s like, come on. Like, you’re an adult, you’re supposed to be the leader, the example. So if you’re not setting that example, I wouldn’t classify as you as an adult.”
“So, we’re putting stickers on alcohol, not bottles, but maybe packages or coolers to advocate for the fact that maybe adults shouldn’t be buying drinks for underage teens,” Wheeler explained.
Liberty High Senior and Youth Community of BR President Khy’ryn Jefferson added, “I do this because we need to advocate for youth. We need someone that’s going to stand up and say, ‘Hey, this is not right thing.'”
Especially during the holidays, they said peer pressure plays a huge role in decision making.
“Things can get out of hand. So people may not know how to limit themselves, especially teens. They may feel like they’re old enough, or independent, and they may have adults to cosign that,” said Wheeler.
“Peer pressure is very prominent in high school culture and it’s very difficult to say no, but you just have to look at it’s the law,” Baton Rouge Magnet High Sophomore and Outstanding Mature Girlz member Estrella Vazquez said. “Medical reasons, health reasons. And also it’s just for your own safety. These laws are made to help us.”
Data from the CDC showed that in 2019, 30 percent of high schoolers drank alcohol within a month’s time.
“It’s a major epidemic, which is one of their main reasons why this campaign was initiated. It started in Virginia, but of course, we happened to implement it in Louisiana, where alcohol is a main problem of concern,” said Prevention Program Supervisor Bridget Lewis.
Lewis said the future is in good hands with these up and coming leaders.
“It’s good to know that I have other teenagers that believes in the same thing that I believe in, that believes in wanting to do good for the community,” said Jefferson.
“I’m so happy that we have a whole bunch of other teams out here because we’re able to help the community. And that’s so important to both,” added Estrella Vazquez .
Again, they urged adults not to purchase alcohol for underage individuals.
Click here for more information on underage drinking.