At no other time in life does the fire burn as brightly as during youth – nothing has the power to put that fire out as quickly as addiction. Indeed, chemical use of any kind or duration can handicap one’s ability to interact with loved ones and meet life goals. Facts alone are simply not enough – drug education has to find its way into a young person’s heart for it to have a lasting effect. Prevention must transcend the school day and resonate with a teen’s reality.
Brenda Conlan combines the best in current prevention research with vast national and international teaching experience to assist young people in reaching their full potential. Brenda creates a safe forum where students can explore their own decisions and feelings around drug use (alcohol included) and understand the more subtle ways in which substance abuse can impair their social, emotional and spiritual well-being. The objective of all the seminars is to increase abstinence, delay first use of alcohol and enable young people to make lower risk choices for their lives.
After 41 years in education (34 as an independent school headmaster), I have seen countless numbers of speakers, programs and worskshops designed to help young people make healthy choices, particularly in the area of alcohol and other drugs. I can say with absolute certainty that Brenda Conlan is the best in the business. She is wonderfully effective with the students and equally so with parents – a rare gift, no matter what the topic. One of the keys to her success is that she doesn’t use scare tactics. Brenda is a knowledgeable, engaging speaker and I know that she has made a positive difference in our community. We look forward to the time she spends with us each year.
Tom Aycock – Head, Trinity Episcopal School
Brenda has mastered the art of weaving her personal story of addiction and recovery into the discussion that doesn’t glamorize drugs or eclipse the more important theme of the program; inviting students to reflect on their own attitudes and beliefs towards substances in a meaningful way. When students reach their own conclusions, real learning has begun…Brenda typically spends a week in a community working intensively with a particular grade. Recognizing that underage drinking and other drug use are community issues, she also provides workshops for parents, faculty and other concerned groups.