South Georgia kids defy drugs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia kids defy drugs

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July 30, 2003

Lowndes County - Ten-year-old Danielle Johnson looks up to Airmen First Class Sarah Jeffers. "She's funny, smart, and she's a genius to me," said Johnson.

She wants to be just like Sarah when she grows up...and that means staying away from drugs and violence. "They're bad for you and we shouldn't do them if we want to be successful," said Johnson.

Danielle is one of 18 kids taking part in DEFY camp this week. The kids come from areas in Valdosta with high crime rates. "We call them weed and seed areas and we just want to show these kids that there's more to life than the crime and violence they may see in their neighborhoods," said Pam Lightsey.

DEFY is designed to promote positive self images and help kids build willpower to avoid the temptations of drugs and violence. Mentors like Sarah are success stories for the campers to model their lives by. "They're realizing from these people that they can be something...whether its an air force pilot or a police detective," said Lightsey.

Not only is the camp helping keep these kids away from drugs and violence, its building the future military leaders of our country.

posted by ashley.harper@walb.com