Hibbing High School Sophomore Will Durie DAREs to be the Example
HIBBING — Hibbing High School sophomore Will Durie has a lot on his plate.
The teen is a three-season athlete, a musician and a member of his school’s TADA (Teens Against Drugs and Alcohol) group. He also sings, participates in the Knowledge Bowl and math teams, and keeps his grades at a 4.0 average.
Durie now has another important — and trailblazing — role. He’s been selected as the Minnesota Youth Advisory Representative for Minnesota D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), Inc.
For 2016 to 2018, Durie will represent the state on a youth advisory committee for D.A.R.E. America/Worldwide.
“I strongly agree with the D.A.R.E. motto of being against alcohol and substance use,” he said. “I feel I can be a good leader to my peers and younger kids in preventing them from getting into those things.”
The purpose of the D.A.R.E. America Youth Advisory Board is to give D.A.R.E. graduates an opportunity to speak to issues impacting the worldwide D.A.R.E. program and to advise D.A.R.E. America and local D.A.R.E. programs, government and community leaders on health and safety prevention strategies beneficial to our youth.
The Youth Advisory Board is a working board, leading Peer PLUS programs, which are after-school programs for youth in their communities where there is interest. Board members also engage in letter writing and media response, as well as role modeling and speaking at D.A.R.E. functions within their states.
Durie is the first youth advisory representative for Minnesota from Greater Minnesota. Past representatives have been from the Twin Cities metro area.
“I cannot make decisions for other people nor can I tell them how to live their lives, but by example I may have an influence on young people and the choices that they make as they get older,” he said. “These days it isn’t always the popular choice to take a stand against drugs, alcohol and violence. The D.A.R.E. youth representative should be both confident and respected by peers; I view this position as an honor and a responsibility.”
Durie said he was nominated by HHS Assistant Principal Carrie McDonald and Hibbing Police Officer Rachael Shiek.
“Will is an intelligent student who has put in extreme amount of hard work and has shown qualities I wish all of the students possessed,” said Shiek. “Will’s dedication and perseverance has manifested itself into the only nominee from Hibbing High School for this auspicious position.”
Bill and Trish Durie, Will’s parents, are in support of this new role. They are cheering him on in this — and all — of his endeavors.
They are “proud of Will assuming such a respectable and demanding role in society,” they said.
Durie said he plans to do his best as the youth advisory representative, adding he plans to attend as many events as he can.
“I think the most challenging part of being a representative will be fitting it in with all of my other activities, sports and school work,” he said.
He’s thankful the role is somewhat flexible, Durie added.
“I just look forward to gaining a lot of new knowledge about the stuff that goes on,” he said. “I just love learning. It will be an interesting experience.”
The Minnesota D.A.R.E. program educates and advocates for the health and safety of children. The program is taught by specially trained, uniformed law enforcement officers and governed by our local community business leaders.
Approximately 60,000-70,000 students are reached by the D.A.R.E. program in Minnesota annually. Officer Shiek is the local D.A.R.E. officer.