Area Colleges and Universities Collaborate to Tackle Underage Drinking Problem
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – In May of 1996, the car Phaedra Marriott-Olsen was driving was hit nearly head on when a driver crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic. The driver had a .08 blood alcohol content level but was never charged with a DUI since the legal limit at the time was .10 in Missouri.
She spent the next five and a half weeks on life support after the crash that left her paralyzed. But as she picked up the pieces of her life, she was determined to turn a tragedy into a positive message. From her hospital bed she worked to put an end to drunk driving by allowing students to visit her hospital room to see first-hand the effects of drinking and driving.
Marriott-Olsen, now a program specialist for Mothers Against Drunk Driving Tennessee, will bring her message of hope and inspiration to Tennessee State University as colleges and universities across Middle Tennessee join forces with MADD to tackle underage drinking.
The Power Conference will take place at the University Wednesday, April 16 from 10:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Cox-Lewis Theater in the Performing Arts Center. Marriott-Olsen and Kathy Kilgore-Beeler, the mother of a 19-year old drunk-driving victim, will share their powerful stories of turning tragedy into destiny and the power of influence.
During the conference, participants will learn how to leverage the Power of You(th) to make a difference, and how to be a part of a campaign to stop underage drinking during the upcoming prom and graduation season. Power of You(th) materials and messaging will be available to help encourage students to take a stand with peers against underage drinking.
The conference is also an opportunity to get the word out about the upcoming PowerTalk 21® day on April 21. The day has been set aside to encourage parents everywhere to talk to their kids about alcohol, using a free online workbook available through MADD.
Students and administrators from all area colleges and universities are invited to attend. For more information on the Power Conference, contact Michelle Rozell, coordinator of volunteer resources with MADD Tennessee, at 615.360.8055 or email@example.com
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents® to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 8.6 minutes through local MADD victim advocates.
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About Tennessee State University
With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.