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Office of Traffic Safety partners with Granite Hills High School, Friday night Live Youth to reduce underage drinking

posted Dec 15, 2016, 2:31 PM by Kristin Hernandez
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On Dec. 15, Granite Hills High School announced that they were selected as recipients of a $2500 grant to support the implementation of underage drinking prevention projects. The grant will fund the GHHS Peer Helpers as they address this important public safety issue in the community. The grant funds are provided through the California Friday Night Live Partnership (CFNLP), with financial support from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), which is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This year, the CFNLP will provide these funds to 34 sites in 25 counties throughout the state.


According to a report on underage drinking by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, on average, alcohol is a factor in the deaths of 4,358 young people under age 21 each year. Studies also show that young people who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times as likely to develop alcoholism later in their life. Another CDC study reveals that, in 2010 the estimated national economic cost of excessive underage drinking was $24 billion.


“This grant will help us educate everyone. We do not want to lose any students, staff or community members to substance abuse,” Daisy Vargas, GHHS Peer Leader Advisor, said.


These mini-grants will provide an opportunity for Friday Night Live (FNL) youth to partner with local law enforcement, parents and community members to implement two significant youth-led prevention campaigns and two specific activities to reach parent populations. These projects aim to reduce underage drinking through education, outreach, and environmental prevention strategies. Granite Hills will implement a “Safe and Sober” campaign, in which Peer Helpers will promote the importance of being sober to prevent underage drinking during the holidays, spring break, prom and graduation


“Youth respond to other youth much better than adult driven and delivered messages,” says Dr. Jim Kooler, CFNLP Administrator. “And by supporting them with the skills and opportunities to make positive changes in their communities, we will see results that matter.”


Back in October, GHHS students participated in “Roadwatch”, an annual observational survey administered by the CFNLP. For one hour, students observed 190 incidents of distracted driving near their campus, ranging from talking and texting on cell phones to eating and personal grooming. The group was one of over 115 California sites that observed a total of 12,852 distracted driving behaviors on that day.


“Distractions are still present among our local drivers. After our observation (earlier this year) we know where to start as we drew attention to the issue of distracted driving”,  Kenny Biggs, GHHS senior, said.


Granite Hills High School’s Friday Night Live Chapter is part of the San Bernardino County Friday Night Live Partnership, a program of the San Bernardino County, Dept. of Public Health. Friday Night Live builds partnerships for positive and healthy youth development, which engage youth as active leaders and resources in their community. For more information on Granite Hills’ Peer Helpers or FNL programs, contact Daisy Vargas at 760 961-2290 x2222 or For more information about the San Bernardino County FNL Partnership contact Bernadette Beltran at 909 387-4823,  or