ASMHS Representative Sasha Arreola attends Teen Driver’s Safety Event


Photo Credit: Mrs. Ward-Riehle

Sasha and Elyssa Arreola were in attendance at the event. The motivational speaker was A’ric Jackson.

Emily Zimmerman, Reporter

     On Oct. 28, the Department of Education (DOE) Driver Education Program held a Teen Traffic Safety and Health Leadership training event at Dave and Buster’s Paina Meeting Room. The six-hour-long event was held to bring awareness to the various risks of irresponsible and reckless behavior that is commonly exhibited while driving.

     “As the Mililani Representative on the Hawai’i State Student Council (HSSC), I attended with an invite from HSSC. I came as a participant and was able to interact with students from other schools as well as be part of the different activities that were held with the national speaker,” said Associated Students of Mililani High School (ASMHS) President Sasha Arreola. 

     Other Hawai’i schools attended the event through representatives of their Peer Education Program. Also in attendance was youth leadership motivational guest speaker A’ric Jackson. “Mr. A’ric Jackson was all about having us get out of our comfort zone and building our confidence.  After he talked with us about breaking down walls, gaining confidence and being our true self, he had us participate in an activity that made us step out of our comfort zone and showcase our true self,” said Arreola.

     This event was held in response to teen driving fatality rates. In 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that about six teens between the ages of 16 and 19 die every day from a fatal car crash. The teens attending the event were encouraged to participate in safe driving habits. “The Hawai’i Drivers Education Program sponsored by the DOE provides leadership workshops like this one in order to develop students’ skills, knowledge and attitudes towards effective and safe driving. This event and other programs like these allow student leaders to lead by example, empower others and apply what we learned back at our school. As a leader, it’s important that we represent our school and peers,” said Arreola.

     Drivers safety, however, was not the only focus of the event. One half of the day was spent focusing on leadership skills. “We were able to meet the goals and objectives of the day and demonstrate the ability to better communicate and interact with various leadership styles,” said Arreola.

     Jackson helped the students learn valuable lessons while still keeping them engaged. He had them participate in an activity that made the students step outside of their comfort zone. “Each participant had to come up with a creative dance move while the others supported the person on deck. This represented both sides needing to keep going, not give up and put 100 percent forward in all we do,” said Arreola.

     The day of training was long as vigorous but overall a success. After the event was over. the students were sent off to spread awareness to their schools. “I hope that all of the advocates at the training take what they learned back to their schools and apply it to the way they lead. I learned a lot from A’ric Jackson and from Mrs. Jan Meeker, the director of the DOE Driver Education Program,” said Arreola.

     Arreola hopes to take what she learned from the event and apply it during MHS’ “STOP if you love me” campaign held during the second semester. ASMHS is unsure whether they will attend the event next year or not.