SADD goes national


Credit: Courtesy of Wayland SADD Instagram

Wayland’s SADD club attends the SADD national convention in Florida this July. Members of SADD club had the opportunity to attend the convention and learn more about SADD materials.

Tess Alongi

The Wayland Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club attended the SADD national convention in Florida this July. This year marked the 40th Anniversary of SADD, which originated in Wayland in the 1980s. Students attended panels, presented during panels and even got to spend time at the Disney Parks.

SADD was created to prevent drunk driving, which was one of the leading causes of teenage deaths in the 1980s. Since then, SADD leaders have expanded the organization, and the club now focuses on the dangers of drug use, awareness about driving while impaired, mental health and other important issues.

Wayland’s SADD club is led by seniors Delia Caulfield, Piper Cinti, Emily Campos, Charlotte Richter and Morgen Warner, along with wellness teacher John Berry. Wayland SADD hadn’t been to nationals in a couple of years, but they made a big push to attend this year.

“The reason why we wanted to go this year is because it was the 40th anniversary, which is a big deal, especially because of Wayland’s connection to SADD,” Berry said. “We have a really big, enthusiastic group, with excellent, wonderful leaders.”

At the conference, panels ran each day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. These panels took place in one common room, and everyone attending the conference had the opportunity to attend these talks.

“We learned a lot, but one thing specifically that struck a chord with me was these moms who came,” Cinti said. “They’re a part of the foundation “’A Song for Charlie,’” which is a family-run nonprofit charity dedicated to raising awareness and educating families and teens about ‘fentapills,’ [which are] pills laced with fentanyl. Seeing moms speak about losing their children was really emotional for everyone who attended the panel.”

The topics of panels ranged from drug use to healthy relationships and social media use. Many students also attended a panel about advocacy, which taught students about how to publicly support a cause or organization.

“I felt that this [advocacy] was extremely helpful to learn about because advocating is difficult for many people,” sophomore Aiden Shapley said. “[It was] great to learn about [advocacy] since it is a huge part of people’s teen years.”

In addition to listening to panels, Caulfield and Cinti had the opportunity to be a part of a panel where they spoke about the SADD club at Wayland High School.

“The first night [of the convention] Delia and I had the chance to be a part of the closing ceremony,” Cinti said. “We spoke briefly about our year in SADD and what we did for safe driving week.”

After the panels were over, Wayland SADD club students spent the rest of the trip at Disney Parks. The first night, the club went to Disney Springs, the second night they went to Magic Kingdom and the third night they attended a SADD sponsored event at Epcot.

“When we went to Magic Kingdom, a hail storm broke out and it started downpouring,” Berry said. “Mr. Wolven and I stood back and said ‘you guys go,’ and [the students] were running through the park. It was moments like that [when we saw] the members of the club bond and grow together, that were my favorite parts of the trip.”

Most students who had the opportunity to attend the SADD conference enjoyed their trip, and they are already looking forward to next year’s trip.

“I loved the overall experience,” Shapley said. “I got to have fun and learn so much in a short period of time. It was such a good experience, and if someone has the chance to go [in the future], I [would] 100% recommend it.”

SADD will have a booth during the upcoming club fair where students will have the opportunity to sign up for the club. If you want to join and have any questions, you can contact the club leaders.

“If you are interested in being a part of a club that is about healthy decision making and wanting to make changes in the Wayland culture, then please join,” Berry said. “Anyone is welcome to come to our meetings, we typically meet every other Wednesday after school.”