Real Talk with Miss Florida 2017 Sara Zeng
Real Talk is a prevention program offering middle school, high school, and college students a unique opportunity to open the conversation about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse while providing a safe environment where students can share stories about the challenges they face.
Now in its second year, Real Talk will be presented by Miss Florida 2017, Sara Zeng. Zeng is a music education teacher who is looking forward to working with different schools throughout the state to continue the legacy of her predecessor, former Miss Florida Courtney Sexton, and reaching as many students as possible. Last year more than 5,000 students at 23 different schools had the opportunity to attend a Real Talk presentation.
“There is no reason to be ashamed. You’re not alone; we want to help,”
“There is no reason to be ashamed. You’re not alone; we want to help,” Zeng said in regard to the messaging to students about the stigma of substance use disorders during a visit with DrugRehab.com.
As a recent graduate from Florida State University and someone relatively close to the age of her audience, she also hopes to serve as a role model.
Zeng and the team at Advanced Recovery Systems are putting the finishing touches on the curriculum, which will include more video than last year’s presentation incorporated. Zeng recalled her experience as a student watching similar presentations and noted that they were not very interactive.
The team’s goal is to make sure students are actively engaged throughout Zeng’s presentation. They want to leverage her experience with Greek life to teach students how to assist their friends even if they themselves aren’t struggling. Students will hear interviews with people who have overcome their addictions and view recent news stories of people their age who have been affected. Following the presentation, Zeng will direct individuals to resources available through Advanced Recovery Systems.
Real Talk presentations are set to begin this month, with Miss Tennessee and Miss Colorado slated to join the program in the near future.