“Shattered Dreams” staged at Waimea High School and other locations | Events
WAIMEA – Although last week was the sixth time that Life’s Choices Kaua'i Coordinator Theresa Koki participated in the “Shattered Dreams/Every 15 minutes” program, she said it was every bit as emotional as the first time.
“By the end of the second day, I was exhausted. It’s an emotionally-charged experience to take part in a mock car crash, mock trial and mock memorial,” said Koki. “But it was definitely worth our time and energy to raise awareness about the real life risks associated with underage drinking and impaired driving. Hopefully this will change students’ and parents’ beliefs and behaviors as well as the community.”
The comprehensive two-day program included: a parent-student meetings and mock alcohol-related car crash at Waimea High School where the victims were extricated from the vehicles; mock death notification and identification at Kaua'i Veterans Memorial Hospital involving the victims’ parents; mock trial at the Fifth Circuit Court in Līhu'e; and mock memorial assembly at Waimea High School.
In addition, a retreat was held at the Hanapēpē Armory where Mark Scribner, a retired police officer, discussed the dangers of underage drinking with Waimea High School students. The students also read letters written by their parents, who shared their feelings about their children, and in turn, they had the opportunity to share their thoughts about their parents.
At the end of the retreat, many of the participants made pledges to not drink and drive, and also to talk to their friends about the risks of underage drinking and impaired driving as peer educators.
“I think the students were particularly touched when the parents of a young man named Max, who was a Waimea High School student, shared their grief about losing their son in an alcohol related crash that happened about five years ago right around graduation,” said Deann Yamaguchi, Life’s Choices Kaua'i administrative specialist who co-coordinated this year’s Shattered Dreams program with Scribner.
Among the groups and agencies that participated in this year’s Shattered Dreams program were: Waimea High School students, administration, faculty and staff; parents; American Medical Response; Department of Liquor Control; Garden Island Mortuary; Kaua'i Fire Department; Kaua'i Police Department; Life’s Choices Kaua'i; local attorneys and a judge; local pastors; Hawai'i National Guard; state Crash/Fire/Rescue; and state Department of Education.
The Shattered Dreams program was developed in Texas in 1998 by the Bexar County DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) Advisory Board on Underage Drinking as an expansion of the “Every 15 Minutes” program that was introduced by the police department in Chico, CA.
In 2002, Kaua'i was the first county in the state to hold a “Shattered Dreams/Every 15 Minutes” event. Since then, all three public high schools on the island have staged this event.
The main goal of the Shattered Dreams program is to reduce underage drinking and impaired driving among teens.