Brandon Corey Blenden's voice broke as he spoke to hundreds of Harrison Central High students who are gearing up for prom this weekend.
"Today, we just ask that you question your decisions. You think twice. Think about consequences."
Blenden never went to his prom. Instead, at the age of 17, he went to prison.
"I've served 7-1/2 years in prison, and now I'm currently serving probation, house arrest. I'm monitored by this monitor on my arm."
That was Blenden's punishment for driving drunk and killing four-year old Whitney Lee on Superbowl Sunday in 1995. Trooper John Poulos held up pictures of the little girl. One photograph was filled with smiles, the other showed life taken away too soon.
"I would hope that some of you would look at some of these pictures and never forget them, because they're implanted in my heart."
Perhaps the most captive member of the audience was Whitney's mom Ann Lee. She is a woman who has endured nearly ten years of pain and grief without her daughter.
"There's a void and an emptiness that will never go away. I know there's not one of you out there who wants to be the reason that a little girl goes from fishing with her daddy, to struggling to live on life support and losing that struggle," Lee said.
Blenden is now paying for his crime and he is urging teens not to make the same tragic mistake.
"Mrs. Ann has to live with something she never asked for, and she has to live without her daughter. I feel blessed to say today that Mrs. Ann has forgiven me and that gives me the strength and the courage to be out here," he said.
As part of his sentence, Blenden must continue to write a $1 check every week to Ann Lee and her husband for causing the death of their daughter. He must do that for the next ten years.