Teens Launch Program To Help Their Own - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/29/05

Teens Launch Program To Help Their Own

BUSY was born out of the tragic drunk driving death of a former Gulfport High student in 2003. One of the teens who founded the service knew the young man and wanted something positive to come from his death.

Mallory Jones and Megan Maher don't know if their story in People Magazine will matter to anyone. But the girls say a lot of Gulfport High students drink, and when they do, someone should help them get home alive.

"My belief is teenagers will drink anyway, regardless of the program. People don't go out and drink cause they say, 'I'm gonna go drink cause I have a designated driver.' They were going to one way or the other. It's just better that they do have a designated driver," Mallory says.

There are 30 designated drivers, all student volunteers.

"Two people go every Friday and Saturday night, one boy and one girl or two boys and they go and they have one cell phone. The number's advertised around the school, everybody knows the number and you just call if you need a ride."

Since last August, the drivers have dropped off 125 teens who had too much to drink.

Megan says, "I felt that even if the program flops, just give it a try. And we've had a pretty positive response to it."

Coach Joe Campbell is the program's sponsor and helps out any way he can.

"We see all kind of bad press all the time with teenagers doing this, that and the other. And the fact that they were wanting to do something positive in the community for their students, I thought, was just inspirational," Campbell says.

byMarcia Hill

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