On Friday, February 4th, Galesburg High School seniors joined other seniors from the area to watch a presentation by Brandon Novak, a professional skateboarder, stunt performer, author, and addiction interventionist. Brandon spoke about peer pressure and substance abuse prevention. Students in the audience were so attentive that you could have heard a pin drop as Brandon described his journey after being discovered by Tony Hawk at a young age. Even while Brandon worked on MTV he struggled with addiction and nearly paid the ultimate price for heroin and other substance addiction. Students learned how Brandon turned his life around, finding redemption after 25 years of active addiction. One student in attendance shared, “I liked how real it was. He didn't censor it for us. He was really real about it and didn’t try to hide anything.”
The presentation was sponsored by “YES” at Bridgeway, INC. “YES” stands for Youth Empowerment Services and is funded through the Children’s Mental Health Initiative and the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation. Their program supports Knox, Warren, & Henderson Counties. The system of care consists of area agencies and resources that meet and actively work to wrap families and youth ages 0-21 in services to better their physical, mental, and social emotional needs.