What is Your "Why?"
Written by Ainsley Erdner
Each month on the Drug Free Cecil blog, we will feature an interview with a member of the Drug Free Cecil Youth Coalition. This interview will give you a look into why they decided to join the DFCYC and what it means to them.
Alright so you can go ahead and start by introducing yourself. Name, Grade and School.
Javier: Alright so, my name is Javier Villagomez. I’m in tenth grade and I go to Elkton High School.
So Javier, how long have you been involved with the Drug Free Cecil Youth Coalition and how did you first hear about it?
Javier: I think I've been involved with Drug Free Cecil for about one and half years. I first heard about it because one of my eighth grade teachers, Ms. Alcorn texted me saying they needed more recruits.
Yeah so, you’ve heard us sometimes talk about in Drug Free Cecil Meetings, some people sharing their WHY. So what does the question “What’s your why?” mean to you?
Javier: The question for me means what is your driving purpose in you to be in this coalition? What makes you wake up every day and want to be here and still be motivated to make a change in your community?
Yeah, absolutely. So why do you think finding that driving purpose can be so important for our motivation?
Javier: It’s important because for some people they don’t have any driving motivation for making a change in their community, and positive change can affect the community in the long run, so for people to have that driving force is very motivational.
So what role does prevention work play in your life, and we know, and you know, obviously that prevention plays a role when you come to Drug Free Cecil meetings and things like that. But besides that, has it kind of made its way into other parts of your life as well?
Javier: Actually, yeah. So now that I’ve been in DFC, prevention has changed the way that I look at things and the people I associate with. Before Drug Free Cecil, I used to be friends and very close with people that smoked, drank and used many other illegal substances. So now, I’ve changed. I have not been associating myself with that and I’ve been trying to promote prevention in my house and with my family, friends, and loved ones.
Yeah, I actually relate a lot, when working with prevention, you tend to find yourself around people that you don’t realize how bad they are for you. And then you start to realize you need to cut those negative things out and start promoting what is important to you. So has that helped your confidence in providing prevention?
You know, by being able to remove yourself from that friend group or even helping them with the knowledge you have. Has that helped your confidence level?
Javier: Actually, yeah. When I first started I didn’t really talk much, or give my opinion, but now that I have adopted the prevention lifestyle with more time, I’m more confident speaking about the topic and spreading it along compared to about a year ago.
Absolutely, so my next question is what is YOUR why?
Javier: So, my why for prevention is I’ve had many family members and friends in the past from both here and Mexico. I’ve had trouble with the drug abuse and usage in my family, and some of my family members associating themselves with that behavior.
With drug usage, many people end up in places they don’t want to end up. In Mexico the drug situation is terrible, and I had a cousin who was messing with the wrong people, and they picked him up, and me and my family don’t know his location or his situation.
I want to tell you that I relate a lot. I’m sure you have heard me speak some about my personal life, but I’ve seen a lot of the same things in my own family, which I know can be really tough. The best part for me was knowing what I was doing by making the most out of what I could, which is something you do as well. Making an active effort everyday, to spread prevention, to prevent others from dealing with those experiences. Which is one of the most selfless things you could do, knowing that not only are you doing something for you, but something for your community as well.
So props to you for sharing that today and thank you for being so open. So if you had one word to describe your why, what do you think it would be?
For instance, mine is transform.
Javier: Hmm I don’t know
Maybe passion…. Yeah passion. That’s my word.
I actually really like that.
So how do you see prevention playing a role in your future?
Javier: I think that the more I get into this, and the more time I spend with it, it will become accustomed to my future like maybe I’ll pursue something with it, or make something out of it and help the community more with what I have learned and what I still have to learn.
So what is something you have learned since you started with Drug Free Cecil?
Javier: Prevention in our community takes time and hard work. But in the end, it always pays off.
So, you know as Drug Free Cecil we have a lot of goals and things we are planning for. Do any of those things coming up excite you, or do you feel really passionate about them?
For example, we have our drug take back coming up in October, following Red Ribbon Week for which we will be holding a video contest with the theme “why you choose to be drug free”. The drug take back will be a reverse parade so in order to follow COVID-19 guidelines spectators will drive through in their cars and the trunks and floats will be along the sides of the parade.
Javier: I’m really interested in the Red Ribbon Week videos. Yeah, so I like to see how creative people get with the videos and seeing the potential competition among everybody.
Yeah me too! So how has Drug Free Cecil changed your way of thinking?
Javier: So before Drug Free Cecil, I used to think it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t affect me. But now I realize that it does matter, and things we work towards preventing can affect others too, and everyone deserves to live healthy and drug free.
I really like that, so, why do you think prevention is so important?
Javier: Prevention is important because it helps to avoid wrongdoings in the world, helps develop our community into a stronger, more focused, and healthier community, and benefits everyone's future.
So I'm just going to end by bouncing off of that. You know as people, like we have discussed, as people we have our own individual why that we use to motivate us. So if you had to come up with a why for the community, what would it be?
Javier: For our community, I think it would be because of future generations. That relates a lot to us a lot as youth, because we are those future generations, and we are working to help the generations below us.
Yeah, so I want to thank you for sharing everything that you did today. It was a great interview, so thank you!