Kids strongly impacted by SADD message

5/2/2013

By ANGIE HAFLICH

By ANGIE HAFLICH

ahaflich@gctelegram.com

Decisions were made, and in some cases tears were shed, when Holcomb High School students were offered the chance to get back on the "narrow road" Wednesday afternoon.

"It impacted me on really watching what choices I make in life and mostly through high school from now on. I have little cousins that really look up to me and I don't want them going down the wrong path," 16-year-old Mackenzie Davis said. "(Me and my friends) talked about how we need to stay on the narrow road and make right choices, even if it might be tough," Davis and her friends were talking about a presentation given by Keith Becker Wednesday afternoon at the Holcomb High School gymnasium.

Becker has been sharing the presentation at high schools across the Midwest, ever since his brother, Todd, was killed in a drunk driving accident at the age of 18.

He told students that his younger brother's potential came to an end in 2005, not because of one bad choice, but a series of bad choices. Becker demonstrated this by starting out on one side of the gymnasium, calling it the "narrow road."

"When my brother Todd is down here with his life, because three years before Todd died, he was a freshman in high school and when he entered high school, he said, 'I know who I am. I know who I want to be. I've got the baseball, the football, the track — this is the road I'm going to go down in high school.'" Becker said. "And Todd called this road the 'narrow road.'"

Gradually, Becker illustrated how different influences came into Todd's life, leading him to take more and more steps away from that road, until he eventually began drinking every weekend.

Becker also used his brother's decisions to illustrate a point for the girls of the audience by sharing the way Todd pressured his longtime girlfriend into giving up her virginity to him, even though the two had made a commitment to wait until they were married.

Although Todd's girlfriend tried to dissuade him and bring him back to the narrow road, Todd eventually pressured her into it, promising her they would get married. However, at the beginning of his senior year, Todd decided he didn't want to be tied down to a girl.

"He dumps his girlfriend. She thought she was going to get married, but guys, what she got was her virginity stolen," Becker said, "And then Todd takes another step and starts partying every weekend. Because in my brother's mind, this is his senior year, the year you try everything."

One night, all of it came to an end, just a couple of months away from graduation when he and two of his friends were driving home drunk and had an accident. The other two friends survived, but Todd did not.

"One more step, just one more step and then bam, all of a sudden, you're the young man who's now taking his step right into the grave and your life that was once so full of potential down there on that narrow road. You're all the way down here and you're locked up in a cemetery," Becker said. "I finally had to quit blaming my brother's death on everybody else and had to face the cold reality that my brother made choices. One choice at a time, my brother walked right into his grave."

After Becker's presentation, students were given the choice to get back on the right track and walk down and join him at the "narrow road" side of the gym.

"I came here to give you a choice and the choice that you're about to make is one of the most important choices you will ever make. It's simply between the wide road of destruction, or the narrow road of life," Becker said.

More than 50 students walked down to join Becker, including 16-year-old Andrea Rascon, a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions, the group that sponsored the presentation.

"It's really influencing to kind of stand up for what you believe in, even though it's not always what's popular, like he said. Especially what stood out to me the most was the virginity stuff. A lot of girls here get knocked for that, me included, so this will help me stand my ground," Rascon said.

Science teacher and SADD sponsor Claudia Boyles said the SADD group was adamant that the presentation was something the school really needed to hear.

"It was pretty amazing," Boyles said. "(Another) student just came up and told me that the school really needed this."

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