TONE Conference in Jonesboro

December 1, 2006-- Posted at 10:40 pm

JONESBORO-- TONE, or teens of Northeast Arkansas, is an organization devoted to making a difference in our schools.

Teens involved in this program are given a look at some of the serious issues their age group faces.

The group focuses of drug prevention and community involvement to help prepare teens for the future.

Dozens of teens gathered today at the Holiday Inn in Jonesboro for the annual TONE conference.

For Dorothy Newsom, having a conference to train teens to prevent drug use is a step in protecting their future.

"I've worked in drug prevention for over 20 years because there's such a need to prevent. It's a little bit late when we try to do treatment. It makes so much more sense to do prevention," TONE coordinator Dorothy Newsom says.

Over 500 teens and adults from 50 schools across the state gathered for the 19th annual TONE conference to make a difference in their schools and in the lives of their peers.

"It's a leadership program that focuses on drug prevention and traffic safety. We're training these kids to go back to their schools and start TONE clubs and drug prevention projects, year long," Newsom says.

Teens like Senior Mikayla Felts, who has been involved in the program since the 8th grade, will leave here taking back valuable skills to their schools they hope will aid in drug prevention.

"TONE has taught me leadership. I've met so many people. It's just great to feel that you've made a difference," TAC president Mikayla Felts says.

It's a difference that Mikayla says is personal... one that has changed her life... and the lives of her friends.

"I really think people should be drug free. There are lots of teenagers that think it's OK to smoke or to drink, and I don't think that's OK. I really want them to know that's not healthy, and that there are so many people out there who aren't doing it," Felts says.