Sunnyside Students Fight Underage Drinking - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Sunnyside Students Fight Underage Drinking

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SUNNYSIDE, Wash. --  Eight Sunnyside students are heading to Washington D.C. to join the fight against underage drinking. The students are all youth leaders at Sunnyside high school who volunteered to go to this conference, because they believe drug and alcohol abuse is a problem among young people in their community.

Sunnyside student Tristan Abbott says, "It's been a problem and so we're working to stop it and I think going here will help."

It's a problem these students have been working on since they returned from last year's conference.

The youth leaders developed a plan to help educate fifth graders about underage drinking. It's a message they felt they had to get to kids before it was too late.

"We figured if we start younger then we can have an impact on them before they get to middle or high school," said Sunnyside student Melissa Stamschror. "In high school they have already made the decisions they are going to make,"

The students are hoping to return this year with more ideas to improve their current program. They also hope to implement some programs in the halls of their own school.    

Dave Martinez leads the program and says it's up to the students to decide what they do with what the information they learn at the conference.

"It's a student lead initiative, so its owned by them, created by them and it's implemented by them with the support of the school board," said Martinez.

The first order of business when the students return will be to try and get the support they need to launch their new ideas off.

"When we get back this year we will go to a town hall meeting and talk to the school board again," said Stamschror.

The students said off camera that their biggest concern is getting the support of adults in the community. They hope this time around more of them will come to the town hall meetings and join them in their fight.

That first town hall meeting will be March 24th in the Sunnyside School District boardroom.