Standout TAWC Students Making a Difference

Teen Advocates for a Well Communities goal of a healthy student body


Spencer Briggs-Hale, Reporter

Teen drug abuse is a troubling epidemic. The Teen Advocates for a Well Community (TAWC) are trying to change this troubling trend. Through the use of social media campaigns and personal meetings, this group is is changing their community.

This week, Jan. 23-27, is a huge step forward in the right direction, for this week is National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week. This national movement was stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Since its inception, this drug awareness week has been adopted by a myriad of organizations, including TAWC. This week, they are posting help for the addicted on Facebook and Instagram. They have reached out to students through the announcements.

However, their commitment to the wellness of students reaches farther than the digital realm. Members of TAWC traveled from advisory to advisory to provide students with the help they need. They asked students to write down their questions on substance abuse and answered them through social media. They also hosted an assembly in which they informed student of the dangers of substance abuse. The guest speaker, Jonathan Judge from Rise Above CO, inspired students to take control of their decisions. 

Interview with Hunter Sherraden (12), a member of TAWC:

Q: How did you get involved in TAWC?

A: Towards the Spring of my Jr. we turned in applications to be reviewed for Teen Advocates for a Well Community, which it wasn’t called then. (….) to Mrs.Glass, they accepted everybody I think. Then we started having preliminary meetings and then did some heavy training on M term days last year. That way we could go full swing into this year, my senior year, and get things going.

Q: What do you mean by ‘get things going’? What sort of stuff did you have in mind even from those early days?

A: So we have a grant to the District given to us by Healthy Choices that focuses on the prevention of substance abuse, especially Marijuana. So we half to have a lot of social media campaign, and resources available kind of urging kids away from Marijuana use and Substance use. So that where it kind of started, and then we transformed it into Wellness and just about everything. Because we have mental health, healthy relationships, physical health, nutrition, and substance abuse. All categories of things so we can go at it from all angles, making sure that kids have the resources to live a healthy lifestyle.

Q: Why is this issue important to you?

A: To me specifically, it is important just because you see kids going down that path every where, not especially in our school, but especially in other schools. And there are just a lot of risks that, people don’t know about, with really any substance abuse. Really I just want to educate people so they can make their own decisions, but make sure that they know the facts and the consequences of their decisions.

Q: Have you or anyone you know suffered from an addiction?

A: I have not, I mean one common one I would say is alcoholism. We combat that with our substance abuse campaigns, so stay away from that. So i think everybody has a personal story about substance abuse and addiction, whether it’s themselves or someone that they know.

Q: I know that you want to become a doctor, I’m sure that this play apart in your efforts to battle addiction, could you elaborate on that?

A: So part of me wanting to be a doctor is because science is rad and the other half is that i want to help people. I obviously can’t practise medicine right now, that would be bad if I was allowed to practice medicine as a 17 year old, but I’m doing what I can to get people healthier in the ways that are available to me now.

Q: What’s your hope with all of these outreach programs?

A: The hope is that everybody in our community knows where to go [for help] weather it is through us, or another organisation. I think that a lot of the time especially in high schools it is “cool” and common to experiment with different drugs or alcohol, but not everybody now the consequences of their actions on their own health and the others around them. Our big thing is education people. (….) We want to give students the reasons why they should not do drugs.

For more information on TWAC you can follow them on instagram or on facebook at,