Sixth “Warriors Above the Influence” Poster is unveiled at Pocahontas County High School

The sixth version of the “Warriors Above the Influence” poster was unveiled during a school assembly on Oct 17th at Pocahontas County HS.  Nine PCHS students are featured on the poster, representing a cross section of athletic and civic minded groups at the school.  Cheryl Jonese, Prevention Specialist II with the Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition, gave a short presentation on the poster and how it comes together.

“We only do this poster every two years because it’s quite a process,” said Jonese.  “We start with taking student applications.  I check references; after we get all these references checked and we decide who were going to interview, we interview with a panel.  Then at that point as soon as they’re selected they go through a drug-screening process that the Sheriff’s department does for us.”

Jonese also dispelled the idea that being an athlete or belonging to a particular group is a requirement to be on the poster.  She told the students that as long as they are a student at the high school, they are eligible to apply.  She also spoke about one of the main messages of the Prevention Coalition.

“No one plans on becoming addicted,” she said, “for whatever reason people start using substances, they might be curious, they might be pressured, they might be trying to deal with stress or something else, but you never know if you’re the one that’s going to get hooked.  So even with one use, it could be leading you down a road that you may not get back from.”

Jonese spoke about the success of students from past posters as well who’ve gone on to successful careers.

“You have two teachers in this school that was on the earlier posters – you have Mr. Rittenhouse and you have Ms. Bland,” said Jonese. “We have kids on past posters who now live and work in this community raising families.  We have people who are growing things on their farms, we have kids on these posters that are pharmacists, veterinarians, we have a young man who’s in the Army fulfilling his dream as a pilot, a young woman who is in law school now.  And just because they’re on the poster doesn’t make them really special, you all can achieve all those things.”

2018 Warriors Above the Influence and Sponsors – photo courtesy of Suzanne Stewart

The students selected for the 2018 Warriors Above the Influence poster are Emalee Arbogast, Emily Casto, Peyton Coleman, Brianna Hefner, Jacob Jones, Elijah Robertson, Hunter Shafer, Breanna Sharp and TD Sparks.

Each student in turn talked about why they wanted to be part of the poster.  Each was presented with a framed copy of the poster by one of the sponsors.    Congratulations to the 2018 Warriors Above the Influence!

Student Comments:

Emalee Arbogast – I want to thank everybody for giving me the opportunity to be on this poster. I think it’s important to be above the influence because I want to be a positive influence on everybody to prove that you can do other things like party or do drugs; there’s other fun things!

Emily Casto – I’m happy to be on the Warriors Above the Influence poster.  I want to be on the poster to set a good example for others to be a good influence and to let other people know that you don’t have to do drugs and alcohol even if you are peer-pressured into doing it; just because your friends do it, you don’t have to do it.  I also want to be a good influence not just to push to not do drugs or alcohol, but to push your goals and your dreams and doing what you want to do in life.

Peyton Coleman – It means a lot to me to be on the Above the Influence [poster].  I’ve never actually tobacco or anything like that but if you use tobacco it’s a waste of time, wastes your life and don’t do drugs. I’m not going to touch it or even get close to it, but I’m happy to be on it.

Brianna Hefner – The reason I strive to be Above the Influence is because I want to prove that you don’t need drugs or alcohol to fit in.  There’s so little to do in Pocahontas County that kids think all the fun is [to] party.  There’s more to do than they think though, and I want to encourage them to take advantage of the clubs and sports that the school has to offer. Some of the things that I am in are soccer, basketball, Young Life, National Honor Society, Citizens Club, and Tribe. These clubs have helped me make new friends and be more active in my community.

Jacob Jones – It’s a huge honor to be selected for this year’s Above the Influence poster.  For me to be above the influence doesn’t always mean to be above the influence of drugs and alcohol, that’s a big part of it, but it also means to be a positive influence for the people around me.  For this reason I feel it’s important to be an encouragement to others, to be the best student athlete and team member they can possibly be.  It’s a huge honor and thanks again.

Elijah Robertson – It’s a honor to be on the Pocahontas County Above the Influence poster.  45% of high schools have drank alcohol once every month and 17 have smoked weed every month, and those numbers have only grown. So stay apart from the rest and be Above the Influence.

Hunter Shafer – I’m happy to be on the Above the Influence poster.  You don’t need to drink, you don’t need to do drugs to have a good time at all.  And I have a few facts – in that last 30 days, 10% of eighth graders have tried alcohol and our President has never drank a drop of alcohol in his life.

Breanna Sharp – I feel that it is an honor to be on the Warriors Above the Influence poster.  I feel that you can have fun being above the influence and you don’t get as much opportunities if you’re under.  And I want to thank my friends and family for giving me this opportunity.

TD Sparks – I’m honored to be on this year’s Warriors Above the Influence poster. First I’d like to thank all my friends for always supporting me.  I’d like to thank my family for always keeping a good head on my shoulders.  And I’d like to thank y’all for making sure I stay out of the stuff.

The sponsors for the 2018 Warriors Above the Influence poster are Pickett Fence Photography, Pendleton Bank(Kendall Beverage and Selina King), WV House Delegate Bill Hartman, MindEase Solutions (Angela Hoffman), Pocahontas Memorial Hospital (Susan Wilkins), Pocahontas Chamber of Commerce (Linda Simmons), Pocahontas County Commission, Pocahontas Board of Education, Pocahontas Co. Sheriffs Dept, Marlinton Rotary (Roger Tressler and Kendall Beverage), Snowshoe Mountain and Snowshoe Foundation,  Family Resource Network, The Pocahontas Times, and the Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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