Teaching youth about personal safety

Bottom row, left to right: Kyra Jacobs (Daisy), Evelyn Bertram (Daisy), Maggie Evans (Daisy), Lily Kindred (Daisy), Katarina Dillow (Daisy), Joshlyn Sanders (Daisy), Jasper Jackson (Daisy), Lillian Pruitt (Daisy)

Middle row, left to right: Mallory Phillips (Brownie), Lily Allgood (Brownie), Sofia de la Cruz (Brownie), Rebecca Rodriguez-Lopez (Brownie), Delilah Yukawa (Brownie), Marley Roberts (Brownie), Samantha White (Brownie), Madison Roberts (junior)

Front row, left to right: Hannah Eubanks, Andrea Harvey, Steven Whited, Allexus Williams (cadet), Tiffany Edwards

Girls Scouts obtained more from training than just a merit badge; they received lifesaving lessons regarding their personal safety.

On September 10, 2019, the Northeast Alabama Community College welcomed the local girl scouts into the classroom to learn about safety. The idea for the training originated with Akaysha Bouldin, Fort Payne Girl Scout Troop 10303 leader. Mrs. Bouldin sought out the training class because she wanted to make sure young ladies, and children in general, knew what to do if they were in a frightening or dangerous event. These worries prompted her to seek out training for her troop which lead her in contacting the NACC’s Criminal Justice Education Department program director Steven Whited.

NACC was glad to welcome the Fort Payne Troop on campus for the event. The training was conducted by the CRJ Department. Training consisted of educational components on physical safety and online security. It covered scenarios regarding risks and dangers that might occur in the youths’ school, community, and online, such as social media and gaming chats. One of the most important parts of the training was encouraging the youth and parents to be more involved in discussion of “what would you do if this happened”, and discussed the topic of who is a trusted adult. Physical fitness was also discussed as an important part of health and safety as well.

The highlight of the training for the girl scouts was seeing a few defense tactics demonstrated and then allowing them to practice the moves. Andrea Harvey with NACC admissions also assisted in the training by offering martial arts demonstrations. Ms. Harvey’s background with martial arts helped us deliver an exciting lesson for the visiting troop. Training pads were utilized, and the troop was allowed to demonstrate some very controlled and effective strikes and kicks.

Correction officers Tiffany Edwards and Hannah Eubanks from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the training by working within the groups as they practiced demonstrated skills. Officer Edwards and Eubanks are also recent graduates of the NACC CRJ program, and having them present in professional uniform was a great way of displaying accomplishment and encouragement for the young ladies. Officer Eubanks also demonstrated physical fitness exercises that would increase overall core strength.

“Girl Scouts focus on building Courage, Confidence, and Character. Self Defense reminds them to stand up for their personal self, and to stand up for their ideas and ambitions. Courage, Confidence and Character are three Cs that are a part of the Girl Scout mantra.” Akaysha Bouldin.

The training was beneficial and it fulfilled its purpose. Having the opportunity to assist our community is a great honor. Gratitude is extended to Dr. David Campbell, NACC President, for allowing us to be involved in initiatives that assist the youth in our local area.

There were 17 girls: one cadet (sixth-eighth grade) one junior (fourth-fifth grade) seven Brownies (second-third grade) eight Daisies (K-first grade) and 12 adults in attendance for the training.

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