Life lessons

Students Against Destructive Decisions hear from first-hand experience

Photo submitted to Times Observer Students at the annual Warren County SADD Spring Conference meet Conewango Township Police Officer Scott Neiswonger and K-9 Officer Nic.

On Wednesday, about 100 students from Warren County learned some valuable life lessons from experts.

At the 28th Annual Warren County SADD Spring Conference, keynote speaker Nancy Lombardo, a former police officer and detective in Oklahoma, spoke about the dangers of social media and how sex offenders select their victims.

Smaller groups of students went to each of three breakout sessions.

At one, they were introduced to Officer Scott Neiswonger of Conewango Township Police and his partner, K-9 Officer Nic. Neiswonger explained the work of K-9 officers and the costs and training associated with a K-9 unit.

They also heard from the father of a young man killed in a drinking and driving crash.

At the other session, students heard from some of their peers. They heard from students at Abraxas 1, an adolescent residential treatment center in Marienville. Those students talked about substance abuse and how they came to be in the program.

Students also received information from A Safe Place, Woman’s Care Center, and the Victim Impact Panel, and interacted with representatives from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Adult Probation Office.

Warren County SADD would like to thank our sponsors Bluegill Graphix, Warren County Exchange Club, Warren FOP Lodge #83, the Clarendon VFW, the Community Foundation of Warren, County Fair, Sheetz, Perkins, the Warren County Jail, and Pascuzzi Accounting and Tax Service.

The event was held at the Holy Redeemer Center in Warren with students attending from Tidioute Community Charter School, and Eisenhower, Sheffield, Warren, and Youngsville high schools.

“The students evaluation forms for the event have been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to continuing the conference for many years to come,” Warren County SADD Coordinator Matt Gernold said.