Freedom High recently participated in an Every 15 Minutes program.
The somber two-day program focuses on high school juniors and seniors, challenging them to think about "drinking, driving, personal safety, the responsibility of making mature decisions and the impact their decisions have on family, friends, and many others," according to the Every 15 Minutes website.
Day One of the Every 15 Minutes program featured a realistic crash scene in the Oakley school's parking lot, and Day 2 included a mock funeral.
"Each component of the event went without a hitch," said Freedom's Stephanie DeMartini. "(And), the students were extremely receptive to the message."
Eighteen students participated in the "living dead/car" portion. Ten other students were involved as "shadows," and two filmed and produced the video.
The students watched the drunk-driving crash scene where first responders worked as they would in real life. Classmates were taken away in ambulances; one even left in a helicopter. Then the drunken driver was given a field sobriety test and taken away in a police car.
All participants spent the night at the school and "had no communication with any friends or family to make a bigger impact of them having passed away," DeMartini said.
Day 2 featured a funeral, complete with a casket and pallbearers, discussions, activities, a memorial video and the FHS Select Singers choir, which helped set a somber tone.
Tiphany Adams, an actual crash survivor, spoke to the students about her life-changing moment, which resulted in her paralysis.
This was the fifth time Freedom has presented the emotional 15 Minutes program.
"Students were affected when they heard the obituaries of their classmates and saw their pictures ... The shock of seeing their classmates/friends in the car accident was extremely emotional," said DeMartini, who coordinated it with staffer Dana Johnston and John Muir's Sheri Watson.
And, DeMartini said, Adams' story "added even more emotion to the event, (bringing) a sense of reality to them."
The event was months in the making, involving a variety of agencies, volunteers and donations. For more information about this program, visit www.chp.ca.gov/programs/fifteen.html
CAN YOU DIG IT?: Antioch High's volleyball team once again stepped up to the net to raise money for breast cancer research.
The team will donate $1,000 to the important cause.
Head coach David Driskell and the girls team pulled together recently for a match. The evening included Dig Pink T-shirt sales, a bake sale and a collection. Entry fees also went to the cause, along with a portion of concessions.
The majority of funds were gathered via a raffle for local goods. Driskell received gift card donations from many local businesses, including Maya Cinemas, Little Manuel's, Humphrey's, Las 3 Marias, Sylvia's Country Kitchen, Red Caboose, Mac's Old House and more.
He said it was a real team effort, with parents donating items such as breast cancer bracelets and spa baskets.
Driskell has coordinated the event for the past couple of years, saying many schools host a Dig Pink match to raise awareness and money.
"My hope is to raise at least $1,000 (every year) and get the school and community more involved," he said. "I'd like to make it Pink Week."
The Antioch coach said the event was "awesome," and he was grateful to team moms and parents getting donations and helping out. "They're really the ones that make it all happen."
He added that most of the team knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. "We have 38 girls in our program, and every single one of them participated in some way."
The team plans to donate the money to the Sutter hospital's Save a Life Sister Foundation. For more info or to donate, call 925-779-7550.
. For more information or to donate, call 925-779-7550.
THE FUTURE IS NOW: Heritage High's Robotics Club hosts the third annual NorCal FIRST Robotics tournament Nov. 18.
Heading to the Brentwood school will be 16 teams (with up to 10 students) battling it out for the qualifying round of February's championships.
Robert Pardi, tech teacher and team coach, said volunteers are needed for the big event. The long list includes photographer, concessions, info desk and registration. For the full list, visit www.playingatlearning.org/FTC/volunteerinfo.html#specialtyrole.
In addition to hands-on help, Pardi is asking the community and businesses to help sponsor this competition. For background information about the robots and details, visit www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/game.
For more information and to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org.