The IHSAA Role Model Program, sponsored locally by Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, addresses vital health and wellness issues concerning teens, such as abstaining from tobacco use, while encouraging students to embrace their role model status in the community.
Griffen Dahlstrom has been selected to represent North Putnam high school for the 2008 fall sports season. North Putnam will receive 200 customized posters and 1,000 pocket schedules featuring Dahlstrom. In total, 128 students from 116 Indiana high schools are participating in the 2008-2009 Role Model Program.
This year's materials carry the headline "I Have What it Takes to be Tobacco Free." Educators are encouraged to display the posters and distribute the pocket schedules in their high school, the middle and elementary schools that feed their high school, and in local businesses throughout the community. The IHSAA and Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation handle all costs related to this program.
Dahlstrom was nominated to represent his high school in the program by school administrators. He also signed a pledge agreeing to be tobacco, drug and alcohol free and serve as a positive role model in the community.
"Student-athletes like Griffen are achieving at high levels in their schools," said IHSAA Commissioner Blake Ress. "They are excellent role models and are committed to making the right lifestyle choices. Many are heroes in their home communities."
According to statistics from the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency, more than 10,200 Indiana youth become new daily smokers each year. One in three will die from smoking-related diseases. The IHSAA and Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation believe that the Role Model Program will help to combat these statistics and reduce tobacco use among Indiana teens.
"All of our role models lead healthy and productive lives," added Ress. "We know that many in the community look up to them. Being a role model is a big responsibility. I'm pleased that this year's nominees have agreed to live their lives in a way that will be a good example for others."
For more information regarding the IHSAA and the Role Model Program call 317-633-1456.