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EHS duo attends D.C. conference


Teens hope to use lessons to help peers avoid drug abuse

After attending a weeklong conference in Washington, D.C., two Estacada High School students are hoping to use what they learned to help prevent drug use among their peers.

Estacada junior Kayla McAuley and sophomore Alexi Caba traveled to the nation’s capital on Sunday, Feb. 3, to attend the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s 2013 National Leadership Forum. That event included more than 2,500 community advocates from throughout the country, and was held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center.

The forum is the nation’s largest training for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers, and featured more than 90 training courses.

As part of the trip, the girls toured sites around the capital. They visited the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, as well as those honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and veterans of World War II.

A stop by the White House also was part of the tour.

“It was a lot smaller than I expected,” McAuley said.

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the girls toured Capitol Hill with staff members from the office of U.S. Rep. Kurt Schraeder, D-Ore. It was the first time either girl had been to Washington, D.C.

During the conference, the girls heard from a wide variety of speakers, including Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. They also participated in group activities, in which they were tasked with identifying a problem and coming up with solutions.

The teens chose the use of marijuana at EHS as their topic.

After returning home on Friday, Feb. 8, the girls said they were eager to apply what they learned. They hope to develop a localized action plan and begin implementing it by the end of the school year.