When people think of the fight against impaired driving in Canada Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) most often comes to mind. But another organization in Ontario has been reaching out to young people for years, spreading the message and developing a generation of informed, dedicated and motivated leaders: Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving (OSAID). This May 5th to 7th, OSAID will host its annual Secondary Student Conference to offer the province’s young people an unforgettable educational experience.
The organization is dedicated to helping teenagers help their peers and families raise awareness of impaired driving, and the Conference, held at Sheridan College in Oakville, offers ideas and resources to keep alive the idea that no one should drive while impaired.
OSAID’s logo includes a cocktail glass and a phone: both drunk and distracted driving are issues the group tackles. Students, mostly from around schools around Ontario, will learn how to deal with peer pressure and substance misuse, and will also boost their leadership skills. Other activities will involve yoga, dance, demonstration of impaired driving, and even self-defence. There will be entertainment as well: a hypnotist show and DJ Glow Dance. MADD will offer a sneak preview of their latest video as well.
Speakers will include:
- Cheryl Pounder, Olympic gold medalist
- Wali Shal, rapper, recording artist and anti-bullying activist
- Shelly Forney, mother of a girl who was killed by a distracted driver
- Mitch Dorge, motivational speaker and member of the Crash Test Dummies
OSAID is entirely youth based. Across Ontario 300 chapters help give students the skills they need to make responsible choices, and to help others make those choices. After the Conference adjourns on May 7th, the province’s future will be in better, more capable hands.