One School grant will help fund Triton HS drug prevention program

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BOURBON, Ind. (WNDU) - The pressure is on for high school seniors, with graduation quickly approaching.

Triton High School in Bourbon, Indiana, is small but not immune to temptations of drugs and alcohol.

“You still see the everyday struggles of everybody,” senior Trenton Kreft said. “They're just like a bigger school. I mean, you still have the problems and everything that happens here is that happens at bigger schools also."

“I just try to stay away from that kind of stuff,” senior Caitlyn Ihnen said. “And if there ever are people that are faced with that, and they come to me, try to get them the help that they need.”

Trenton and Caitlyn are members of a senior leadership organization.

“Senior Squad is what our name is, and we try to just bring positivity in our whole school and our community as a whole,” Trenton said.

“I just think it's really important for the student body to be able to be equipped with the knowledge that they need to know about what's going on,” Caitlyn said.

In April, the Senior Squad will bring Becky Savage to speak to their school, thanks, in part, to Martin's Super Markets' One School at a Time grant.

Savage is a Granger mom who lost two sons after they consumed opioids and alcohol at a party. Her family started 525 Foundation, and Savage travels the country to spread the word about the dangers kids face.

Triton school counselor Sarrah Arvesen heard Becky speak at a professional conference last year.

“After hearing her speak, it’s such a tragic [event], but she's turned it into something that can help save lives,” Arvesen said. “And when I heard it I thought we need to get this information to our kids.”

So they applied for the One School grant and set the date.

WNDU arrived for the presentation and interviews, but there was another surprise planned. Savage walked in during the interview!

“Oh, my God, thank you so much for coming,” Arvesen exclaimed. “I'm so excited!”

Savage's visit was more than just a meet and greet. She brought the news that she would match the One School $1,000 grant with money Triton can use to establish a drug prevention program.

“We would like to match on your grant that you were just awarded so that you can continue prevention efforts and awareness in your community and in your school,” Savage said.

“I'm still shocked that it happened today I am so excited,” Arvesen said.

She is looking forward to putting plans in place to give kids tools to use in the future.

“If our kids don't face it now, there's a chance that outside of school one day, they might be faced with something like this, and we just want to give them the information so that they can make the best choices for themselves,” Arvesen said.

“It's a good day today,” Savage said.

Savage is still a grieving mom, but she’s also a mom on a mission, driven to remind kids that one bad choice could end a life.

“I want kids to see that not only do their choices affect them but it affects their brothers, their sisters, their mom and their dad," she said. "And I think that when kids hear me talk, and they see the hurt that's still there five years later, that hopefully a lightbulb goes on, where they're like, I don't want my family go through this; I don't want something like this to happen.”

It’s a powerful message that keeps her sons close in her heart.

“Nick and Jack are still able to make a difference in the lives of others by the work that we're doing, and it's just inspiring to see it working,” Savage said.

It is working. One student, one school at a time.

If you would like to nominate your school for a One School at a Time grant, click here.