When I first came to a reality tour I was not sure what to expect; but soon learned that it is a program crucial to parents and kids everywhere who need this information to protect their families from the drug epidemic. It is a lasting feeling of satisfaction that I can help make a difference in the lives of my fellow youths, and I will never forget how this opportunity has prepared me for the next step in my career.
Being an intern for CANDLE Inc. has given me the opportunity to be a part of an amazing organization and give back to the community by helping to spread the word of drug prevention. Out of the many important things I have learned during my time at CANDLE, it is just how important working as a team is to the smooth running of a company. From day one, being able to listen to each other and work together is the base of what we accomplished this semester. I've also learned how to improve and further tailor my messages to my audience as well as a hands on look into event planning.
I attended my first Reality Tour prior to starting my internship with CANDLE,Inc. I wanted to be educated on the process of the tour from an outside perspective before my time spent behind the scenes. The tour immediately made me think about my education about drug prevention. I remember my middle school education of learning what drugs did to your body and how they were bad by watching videos in health class. Other than learning of the harms from a mandatory class in middle school, I only remember my parents telling me I would ruin my life if I ever did drugs, which made me stay away from the kids who were using.
I truly believe Reality Tour goes above and beyond the class curriculum of watching a series of videos in health class. Having a parent attend with their child is a mutually beneficial tactic for drug prevention. The tour gives hands-on access for a child to see the consequences of a teen who made life-changing bad choices. The impact of visualizing a mother losing their child is beyond what any video can show.
Being 22 years old, I was moved by what Reality Tour does and how it impacts the audience. The opportunity to intern at this nonprofit has opened my eyes on how everyone should be educated on drug prevention. I was able to use my public relation practices I learned at Slippery Rock University to this nonprofit to help reach more Butler county community members.
Having first attended a Reality Tour, as well as interned for CANDLE, Inc., I can say that this non-profit is amazing in-and-out with the work that they do for families and the community. While we all hope that no one we know or love is subject to drugs or drug abuse, it is an epidemic that needs to be known and understood by all parents and children. The dedication that the executive director, tour directors, and volunteers hold is the power behind what is making a difference in all of the communities that Reality Tour can reach. Not only do the tours open the eyes of parents, but their children as well which is equally important and beneficial. The tour shines a light on not only what can come of drug abuse, but ways to prevent it within each household. I have a younger brother who is soon to be attending the Reality Tour in Murrysville and I am more than excited for him, as well as my parents, to have the eye-opening and informational experience that Reality Tour gives. After working for this amazing cause, and seeing the impact it has on others, as well as myself, I would recommend it to any and everyone.
I just scheduled my our second trip to the Reality Tour in Greensburg - this time with my daughter. We attended 4 years ago with my son who was 13 at the time. It was very impactful. While we never believed (as no one ever does) that our children would ever get into drugs, we know 100% they will be in a situation where they might be able to use the information they gain through the Reality Tour. We're taking the preventative approach.
Thank you for the work that you do for this program AND for being parent partners in helping my children to be informed as to the dangers with all drugs.
Thank you SO much for organizing the Reality Tour! I thought I was up to date on what was going on in the dark realm of drugs and other inhibitors, but boy was I wrong. This was very well put together. The action skit, the videos, and the live testimonies all had so much information, and those boys from George Junior just tore my heart up. So young, and so brave to share their story so another child will not have to walk in their shoes. I just can't express how much I appreciate the hard work everyone put into this event!!
We brought our 13 year old to the Reality Tour not knowing what to expect. I have to say that this was a very powerful experience for myself, my son and my wife! The powerful content of this tour is right on target and much needed for all of our children. We will be referring our youth group as well as our Celebrate Recovery family to this mission. Thank you!
The Reality Tour held by CANDLE, Inc. on September 12, 2016 was an amazing and memorable experience. Previous to attending I had heard that the Reality tour was very powerful and the message was well done. After attending I can say that it far surpassed my expectations, was very powerful, and was done in a very nice way. All parts of the Tour were impactful but the most powerful were the interviews with a retired PA State Trooper and also interviews with young individuals from a correctional facility who were there because of involvement with drugs from a very young age. I must thank the CANDLE, Inc organization for providing this service to the community.
Having both worked for CANDLE, Inc. and attended Reality Tour, I can honestly say this is an amazing non-profit and program. The drug epidemic across the country is growing each day and the passionate people that run CANDLE, Inc and Reality Tour are desperate to stop it. The Reality Tour program really opens up the communication lines between parents and children so they are comfortable talking about drugs. It also shows the consequences and provides coping skills. Something that I found very influential about the program is the talks from law enforcement and at risk youth. It shows parents that this is happening in their own community and kids that this problem could happen to them. Overall I highly recommend the program, it has made an impact on my life and I'm sure countless others as well.
I'm a mom of three kids now 22,20,15 All of whom experienced the reality tour with a group of friends when they went to Middle school. THEY STILL talk about. The older two successfully avoided the trap of drugs as did the students/friends they attended with. We were talking about it the other day and the 20 year old remembered the Jail. "there was a person behind the glass, they had tennis shoes like mine, I realized they had lost all their freedom and I didn't ever want to end up there," Now in college entering into her Junior year...the memory is vivid. She continues to avoid the path that drugs could take her. The 15 year old said the funeral is what cinched it for her. She said, "Looking at the body and knowing people were missing their friend I didn't want to lose a friend to something stupid like drugs or want people looking at me in a casket and wondering how I could have been so stupid." As a parent I remember grilling the students who were in recovery and asking them HOW did your parents MISS this? They willingly shared with me their tips and tricks on how they got away with it...I am grateful. To this day...if my kids go somewhere and call me on the cell, I ask to speak to their friend or friends parent from the cell...to be assured they are where they say they are...they know it will happen...no need to try to be deceptive. My son is pursing a career in law enforcement...he remembers the question about giving something up for 6 weeks and thinking as a child what it would be like to never have pizza again, or some other enjoyable thing. They drew the parallel about why "try something" that could become addictive to have to live the rest of your life NEVER experiencing it again..to the point of having to experience extreme pain because a narcotic could contribute to a relapse. For my olders its been 7 and almost 10 years and THE REALITY tour is still shaping their thought process about drugs and their use. I am thankful that so far their path has strayed away from the destructive one involving drug use. Those morphed images of their photos are etched into their minds as something to avoid. As homeschooled students the olders never encountered the peer pressure that kids grew up with. The REALITY TOUR prepared them for what peers can do. They have the ability to pull you down...or lift you up and out of the pit and away from the drug scene. Kudos to a program that makes a difference and leaves an impact. Our family is proof!
This experience hits hard from all different angles. Hopefully by showing how drugs affect all of our lives in today's world the message will get across to youths and adults. By showing the skits, the movie, and talks from law enforcement and recovering addicts I am hopeful that something will touch a nerve and make a difference.