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Drug Education for Youth: Phase II

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Antonio Jones
  • Medical Operations Squadron
The Drug Education for Youth group met at the Airman and Family Readiness Center Aug. 15 for their first lesson, beginning Phase II of the program. DEFY provides commanders with a drug demand reduction program to enhance family readiness and promote mission accomplishment. The program's goal is to produce 9- to 12-year-old children with character, leadership and confidence to live positive, healthy lifestyles as drug-free citizens. It is a year-long program and was first introduced to Pope three years ago. This year's program is comprised of a camp director, mentor trainer, operations coordinator, 25 mentors, one junior mentor and 31 energetic youth. 

There are three phases to the program. Phase I is a week-long summer camp. For Phase II, DEFY meets one Saturday a month. On this day, the mentors teach the youth a particular topic on healthy living before going on an educational field trip with them. Phase III is a follow up with the youth to find out how they are incorporating the lessons learned throughout the year into their daily lives. 

Most recently, the mentors taught a lesson on safety followed by a trip to the Pope Fire Department. During the trip, Staff Sgt. Brandon Carr, Airmen 1st Class Tremeka Sims, Dajuantatye Brown, Tyrone Evbuomwan, Alex Lopez and Isaac Fizer, members of the 43rd Civil Engineer Squadron, talked about their roles and responsibilities as firefighters. They demonstrated how their equipment works and even showed the DEFY youth how the fire engine puts out aircraft fires on the runway. Afterward, the DEFY youth and mentors returned to the A&FRC for lunch before going to a local skating rink to learn fun and healthy alternatives to drugs and alcohol. 

For more information or to sign up for DEFY, call Tracy Devault at 394-1182, Senior Airman Antonio Jones at 394-4700 or Staff Sgt. Afshan Quarles at 394-7422.