NEW PHILADEPHIA (WJER) (March 17, 2023) – Tuscarawas Central Catholic junior Carson Norris has been earning praise for his recent visit to Washington, D.C.
Norris and Strasburg’s Max Metz were among hundreds of people who spoke to legislators and their representatives last week about the impact of substance abuse on communities across the country.
It was part of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of American National Leadership Forum. Norris represented Empower Tusc and its Youth-to-Youth program.
“Drugs are effecting my peers, my community, my friends, my family, and that is just in a small, small area of the world,” said Norris, who also got to listen to the director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “Everybody should have been there to hear that, because if everybody heard those facts nobody would want to be involved with [drugs].”
Empower Tusc coordinator Jody Salvo says legislators were so impressed they invited Norris to return.
“He blew the socks off of our congressman. Congressman [Troy] Balderson said, ‘Would you ever want to come back and speak to a committee with me?’”
Salvo got an email this week from a representative from Balderson’s office that said the congressman found his conversations with Norris and Metz so helpful he pledged his support to the highest possible funding for the Drug-Free Communities program.
Norris thinks he made a difference.
“The fact that they told me what they’re doing, and they showed me that they’re actually caring about us. That helped us to know we’re actually making an impact, and it really made me realize on a full scale that what I’m really doing from small Tuscarawas County and TCC, but it’s actually making an impact in the world.”
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
Norris and TCC senior Piper Olson shared their message with the County Commissioners Wednesday.
The commissioners declared March 20th to 26th as National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. Olson shared these facts from a 2021 study: 3 percent of Tuscarawas County youth were current smokers; 12 percent had used electronic vaping products in the past 30 days; 8 percent have had at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days; and 5 percent have used marijuana in the past 30 days.