Wilton Youth Council‘s Warrior Council, a substance use prevention club for Wilton High School students, invites the community to participate in a powerful discussion on how parents and teens can work together to strengthen communication.

Strengthening Parent-Teen Connections:  Warrior Council Community Forum will take place on Tuesday, April 9, from 7-8:30 p.m. in Wilton High School’s Little Theater (395 Danbury Rd.). The program is appropriate for students in middle and high school, parents with children of all ages, and concerned community members.

“Our goal for this event is to give teens an opportunity to educate the adults,” said Genevieve Eason,  Wilton Youth Council’s executive director. “In the planning process, our students expressed that they believe Warrior Council is an important resource for parents. They identified the information that they want to share themselves and what topics they want the expert presenters to cover, with the hope that parents will leave better prepared to help their children make healthy choices and to support their children in those choices.”

The Warrior Council was launched a year ago this fall. Wilton Youth Council president Vanessa Elias and school and town officials joined forces with Joyce Sixsmith, a New Canaan-based substance abuse counselor/prevention specialist who is the leader of the incredibly successful RAM Council in New Canaan, which she founded seven years ago. RAM Council is widely recognized for reducing substance abuse among teens.

Now, in its second year, the Warrior Council includes about 30 high school students who have committed to substance-free living. The program provides students with the support they need to make healthy decisions and the opportunity to meet other like-minded students.

“In many communities, it can be tricky to keep high school kids engaged in a drug-free lifestyle, because as they get older, sometimes kids become conflicted about that choice, and they receive a lot of conflicting messages,” explained Eason. “We wanted Warrior Council to be an avenue for supporting kids who do want to make that choice.”

According to Sixsmith, the Warrior Council is on track to have the same kind of impact RAM Council has had, and continues to have. “The interest and engagement is definitely there. Like the New Canaan teens, the Wilton teens have the same desire to find a group they can belong to and share experiences.”

Featured speakers on April 9 include John Hamilton, LMFT, LADC, a nationally renowned expert in the addiction treatment field, with over 30 years of experience. Hamilton is currently president and CEO of Liberation Programs. Joining Hamilton is Matthew Maddox, a criminal defense attorney and founder of the Maddox Law Firm. Maddox is a frequent speaker to schools, parent associations and corporations on legal and social issues and also an advisor to the Warrior Council, the RAM Council, and the Darien Blue Wave Council.

“We have two of the finest experts coming out to speak out about parent-teen communication and the legal consequences of unhealthy decisions related to substance use/abuse. both of whom are very passionate about keeping youth substance free,” said Sixsmith.

The event is free and refreshments will be provided. Registration is recommended and can be done online.

For more information, please email Joyce Sixsmith.