St. Louis High School Above the Influence attends the fourth annual summit at the Youth for Christ


Courtesy Photo

SLHS Above the Influence sit together as they work on ways to better their school.

Bee Elsea, Writer

Every Tuesday, a group called “Above the Influence” holds a meeting in the St. Louis High School library for anyone who would like to attend. Tuesday, Oct. 11, a group of students signed up and attended the fourth annual Leadership Summit at Youth for Christ in Alma.

Above the Influence is a teens’ community held in various schools around America where kids can feel they can make a difference in the world, and can push to be a leader and take charge whenever a leader is needed. For a better detail, according to the organization Prevention is the Key, “‘Above the Influence’ (ATI) is a national campaign created and implemented by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a program of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. ATI informs and inspires teens to reject illicit drugs via TV, print, Internet, and local radio advertising – and, most importantly, in partnership with community organizations.” Much like D.A.R.E, this group learns about how to advocate for safer lives by keeping students safe and refraining from doing things under the influence – hence the term above the influence. 

The group who attended, Autumn Mann, Evelynn Gutierrez, Mikayla Haag, Bee Elsea, Kalen Lipka, Devante Nava, Michael Hart, and Balin Kolhoff, did team building activities and fun games against the Fulton and Ithaca schools who also attended. Beforehand, the summit included two guest speakers, Dan Gaken and John Glenn, who both collectively spoke of leadership and how students can make a difference in the world. The two speakers were a fantastic addition to the summit and really kept students engaged.

“The games were fun, and I overall had a great time,” Haag said. “The entire time I was very engaged, and I wished I could do this all over again next year. It’s sad that this is my last year.”