Our Staff

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Joe Pickard, Executive Director

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Mentors

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Anna, PEERS/PEP Mentor

I believe kids should know the consequences of sex, drugs, and alcohol. I was influenced by the PEERS group that visited my middle school and I envied how they carried themselves. As a result, I decided to become a PEERS Mentor and I really enjoyed teaching students last year. I feel like I actually made an impact. I love to make a difference in any way possible while educating younger students about abstinence.

I have decided to make a personal commitment to abstain from drugs, sex, and alcohol because I have personally witnessed its effects. I have seen teens drinking and doing drugs and the actions that follow are always embarrassing. I want to abstain because I believe that drugs, alcohol, and sex at this age are not worth the long term consequences. I can’t risk drinking and having sex and becoming pregnant. I want to do bigger things before I have a family.

My commitment is strengthened with the help of my peers and my siblings. My brother was a PEERS Mentor and I really look up to him. I am also encouraged by my family. I think to myself what they would think of my choices if I gave into pressure. I want to stay above bad influences, because it is the safest choice. But, it’s also the harder one and it is a choice that I feel proud I made.
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Rebecca, PEERS/PEP Mentor

I am blessed with two extremely loving and support parents who have always introduced and preached abstinence.  I have an older sister with such a bright future that is all the result of abstaining.  At 21 years old, she has straight A’s at college, is president of her sorority, and plans to study abroad next semester.  I want to follow in her footsteps not only with her choices of schools and majors, but with her decisions to be drug free, sober and sex free.  She is a prime example of what abstaining gives back to someone.

Along with the positive influences, I have negative ones in my life as well.  My cousin had a baby at 17 years old.  I’m short 15 days away from 17 and as cute as babies are, I’m no where near ready to be a mother.  I’m excited for college, to live alone, to get my first real job and to enjoy my youth.  I know the consequences; I’ve seen them right in front of me with someone I love dearly.  I don’t want to be my cousin.  I have a plan, and I’m going to follow it.  Abstaining will only help me in the end.

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Christy, PEERS/PEP Mentor

My personal commitment to abstain has to do with the respect I have for my body.  I don’t want to expose my body to the effects of drugs and alcohol; it’s unhealthy and I don’t want to potentially ruin my life by getting involved with drugs and alcohol. Deciding to abstain from sex was really easy for me.  My extended family is full of teen mothers who dropped out of high school to raise their child on their own because their boyfriends left them.  I don’t want end up like them.  I have a plan for my life and it involves going to college and becoming an eye doctor, not dropping out of high school due to an unexpected pregnancy.

My little brother, who is a freshman this year, actually means a lot to me.  He doesn’t intentionally encourage me to abstain; it’s more like I don’t want him doing drugs, alcohol, or sex, so I try to set a good example for him.  Now that he is in high school, he is more prone to getting involved with people who might influence him to do the wrong thing.  To me, I feel like if I got involved with drugs, sex, and alcohol, my brother would think it is okay to do that kind of stuff and if I told him not to get involved, I would be hypocritical.  By abstaining, I can show him that not everyone is using drugs, drinking and having sex and that it is possible to have fun while maintaining abstinence.  He is my little brother and I would be completely devastated if anything happened to him because he got involved with drugs, sex and alcohol.

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Austin, PEERS/PEP Mentor

I am a PEER Mentor because I believe strongly in abstinence from sex, drugs and alcohol.  I choose to abstain because I know I have a much better change of succeeding in school, work, and life.  If I got a girl pregnant and had to become a full-time father, my chances of graduating high school would be severely reduced.  My chances of going to college would be slim-to-none, and I definitely wouldn’t get as good a job as I could have if I had gone to college.

The person who inspires me the most is my dad.  My dad was a big time partier, drinker, smoker, and generally led a crazy, borderline out of control life.  He was in a rock band after all.  But it got to a point where my dad realized he wasn’t going to be successful if he didn’t take back control of his life.  So he made the tough, tough choice to quit drinking and smoking. Through determination and force of will he slowly got his life back on track.  He went on to succeed at college and became a military officer.  I admire his ability to realize the effects of his actions and to have the maturity and strength to change them.

I am a PEER Mentor because I want to help younger kids learn the skills necessary to not make those choices that lead to an out of control life.  My dad was able to overcome his situation, but many can’t.  I don’t want anyone to allow drugs, alcohol or premarital sex wreck their futures.
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Board of Directors

Jeffrey J. Pfister, P.E. (President)

Engineer/Manufacturing Agent
Parent of PEERS Mentors

Cindi Zenkert-Strange (Vice President)

Grant Writer
St. Vincent Health

Leondra Radford, PhD (Secretary)

Director, College & Career
University Heights Preparatory Academy

Cindy Schwefel(Treasurer)

CPA

Beth Pfister, R.N.

Parent of PEERS Mentors
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