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Cobb youths say 'no!' to risky behaviors | Community Spirit

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Cobb youths say 'no!' to risky behaviors
Cobb youths say 'no!' to risky behaviors

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Young people from Cobb County and the City of Marietta are pledging to avoid the behaviors that get so many of their peers in trouble.

On Friday, Mar. 18, 73 local residents, ages five to 25, gathered at the McCleskey-East Cobb Family YMCA for the Cobb Community Collaborative's sixth annual Prevention Poster and Pizza Night.

This Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) activity was designed to bring young people together and discuss the prevention of risky behaviors as they create and implement sustainable service projects for their communities.

Attendees created signage that urged others to avoid violence, bullying, gang activity, substance abuse and underage drinking, child abuse, and destroying the environment.

Members of Club Extreme, the Georgia Council on Alcohol youth group, led the group in a prevention conversation.

"[This event] makes my community a better place," said Rose, 12, a student at Tapp Middle School and member of the Powder Springs Community Taskforce Teen Leadership Council.

Tyler, a 5-year-old who attends Fair Oaks Elementary School in Marietta, agreed.

"It feels good to help," he said.

Several local college students joined the movement as well.

"Helping others is a wonderful gift," said 19-year-old Ashley, who goes to Georgia Highlands College.

Courtnay, a 21-year-old college student, has been involved with Cobb County's GYSD activities for six years. She said that this movement helped her gain important skills, kept her out of trouble and allowed her to rack up enough service hours to give her college applications a big boost.

Even Governor Nathan Deal attended the event, as did Cobb County Commissioner Tim Lee and several local mayors:

* Tommy Allegood, Acworth
* Joe Jerkins, Austell
* Mark Mathew, Kennesaw
* Steve Tumlin, Marietta
* Pat Vaughn, Powder Springs
* Max Bacon, Smyrna

The artwork created during Prevention Night will be on display during a countywide GYSD event at the Cobb Civic Center (548 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta, 30060) on Saturday, Apr. 23.

For more information on how to get involved with GYSD, call Joan O'Connell at 770-514-7213 or email Joan Trent.