Mr. Brooks spoke to CHS students about his experiences before and after he was paralyzed in a devastating car accident that also claimed the life of his close friend more than a decade ago.
Mr. Brooks, the driver of the vehicle, was under the influence at the time of the accident. And while his presentation to CHS students touched on issues relating to substance abuse, the larger message focused upon the necessity of making good choices—and how the consequences of others’ decisions and actions impact more than just themselves. He also told the students that his circumstances and the realities he lives with as the result of poor choices he made long ago are increasingly more difficult with each passing year.
Along with Mr. Brooks’s description of his grueling rehabilitation and his enduring daily limitations as the result of his catastrophic injuries, he advocated for camaraderie among the students and advised against bullying. He also encouraged the audience to reach out for help when it was necessary. Yet another important component of his presentation was about the conscious decision that each person can make—regardless of his or her circumstances—to overcome adversity and create positive change. “We can all make a difference in this world,” he said. “Turn that negative into a positive—it won’t hurt so much anymore.”
Because of the sensitive nature of the event, special supports were implemented for anyone who desired additional assistance with processing the subject matter. This highly relevant and important presentation, which was strongly recommended by other local high school principals, was timed to coincide with the upcoming Winter Ball on December 10 in the hopes that students will be especially cognizant of their choices.
Mr. Brooks’s message is applicable not only to students but to everyone. We thank him for coming, and we thank our students for attending the event.
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