Drug and alcohol program at Mpls North High changing lives

6:57 PM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Each Friday Gwendolyn Kinsman and several of her classmates from North High School transform from students to teachers.

They go into Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary School to teach fourth graders how to make good decisions as part of a drug and alcohol prevention program developed by Hazelden and Mothers Against Drunk Driving called Protecting You/Protecting Me, or PY/PM.

While they teach, they also learn.

"This program has pushed me to kind of explore more," Kinsman said.

Before joining PY/PM Kinsman said she was focused solely on going to engineering school. However, her experience teaching students has inspired a complete career change. She now wants to be a math teacher. Kinsman said she never would have considered it if it weren't for PY/PM.

The same goes for Souksavath Nantharath, a senior who wants to be nurse.

"I learned that I like to help people not just that but maybe this is the right path," Nantharath said.

Brenda Corbin, a health teacher who brought the program to North, said she's seen numerous under-the-radar students turn into academic all stars.

"As soon as they started this program you could see their personality come out and you could see them really believe in themselves," Corbin said.

The program has grown so popular there's a wait list to join at North. PY/PM has expanded to two other schools and the hope is to be in all Minneapolis High schools one day.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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