A group of Fresno County High School seniors is on a mission to change that. Sanger High School Seniors worked with mentors from the California Health Collaborative. Those mentors have spent the last year teaching teens how to teach the community.
The teens were working under the "Performance Above The High Project" or "Path". It's focus is to decrease marijuana use in young adults under the age of 20. Shadaria McPherson targets high school students and creates youth run advisory groups. She said, "These youth decided the way they wanted to impact the community and changing the norms was by educating them, by educating parents to open the lines of communication with parents and letting parents know how they want to be talked to when it comes to using drugs."
17 year old Rosa Baez says this year's senior project was created to stand out. "We wanted to do something big and something that impacted our parents, to create change not like every other senior project which is small".
The students wrote and performed two skits, which were delivered in silence. Baez said, "The point of the skit was to create a more impact on our parents, our communication, positive role model, encouragement."
They also held a forum with their principal, substance abuse counselors and law enforcement. The Fresno County Sheriff's Office endorses the program, and is happy to see teens take a part in changing the perception of drugs.
Lieutenant Rick Ko said, "Think about kids in high school now that kids are inundate with messages that marijuana is medicine and for them the realize that and come to their own conclusions on this is huge."
Students say, they hope others will pass their message on to parents, to tell them exactly how they should communicate with youth.
The California Health Collaborative says this is just the beginning of their mission. Next year, similar projects will be held in other Valley high schools.