SHERIDAN — Teenagers at Sheridan High School got a message about thinking twice and making good decisions, as one of their peers received a special national honor Tuesday.
Patrick Stepp, a Sheridan senior, has been named the SADD – Students Against Destructive Decisions – National Student of the Year. Stepp will spend the next year traveling across the country and serving on a national board that encourages teenagers to make good decisions.
“We’re all on the same life path. We all undergo the same struggles and the (same) temptations,” Stepp said.
Stepp represents a side to the effort to keep teenagers safe that could be the most important one. Organizations like SADD encourage teenagers to talk to each other about good decisions and the power of positive peer pressure.
“They’re human, they’ll be tempted when they go off to college and even now that they’re in high school,” Stepp said.
Also Tuesday, Sheridan students heard from the family of Brett Finbloom. Finbloom died of alcohol poisoning last year, after graduating from Carmel High School. He was just a week away from leaving for college.
“We so wish that Brett was here to tell you about his mistake, about his bad decision. I wish that Brett was here to tell you (that),” said Dawn, Finbloom’s mother.
Stepp hopes that by encouraging students to make positive decisions and hear from people their own age, he can make a difference and keep another tragedy from happening.
“We have years of life left to live and we don’t need to live in the moment. Sometimes if we live in the moment, we’ll affect (our) future,” Stepp said.