I say these words often and I mean them, small communities seem to be making the biggest strides with substance abuse awareness, prevention and recovery. This continued to hold true for Salisbury, Maryland. What a beautiful community with some of the most progressive leaders I have ever met.
The city of Salisbury not only invited me out to their beautiful city but they put me to WORK! Five presentations planned over just two days. Laura, my contact upon arrival, was amazing! She shuttled me around town and gave me the tour of the city, pointing out well known landmarks and educating me on what made Salisbury special. I feel like we both got to know each other very well in the short period of time we hustled to and from presentations. I really like Laura, she seemed like such a rebel, I could only imagine what she was like in her younger years. Her rebel mentality quickly came to light for me when I listened to her passion and unwillingness to settle with the heroin and prescription pain killer abuse issue storming Salisbury. We need more people like Laura that are not going to take no for an answer and will work on just a few hours of sleep so they can drive change in their community.
While in Maryland I spoke to 4 high schools: Mardela High School, Bennett High School, Wicomico High School and Parkside High School and gave a talk at an open community event. Every speech given to the school campuses went amazing. The students were glued to the seats as they listened to my wild ride for a life story. The questions and answers following each talk were engaging and there did not seem to be a shortage of questions, which I love! After each speech many students reached out to me via social media and let me know how much my speech impacted them or they shared their personal experiences with me how substance abuse was close to home for them. Several days later and the questions or comments continue to flood into my social media and these types of occurrences let me know just how much of an impact I was able to leave on the students.
My discussion with the community on Wednesday night was encouraging. The room was filled with about 100 people from a small community of about 30,000 people. City officials, community members including moms, dads, aunts, uncles and alike were in attendance to not only hear my story but to find out how they could be apart of the solution. I really commend every individual that took part in bringing me to Salisbury, Maryland because the work they are doing is not easy BUT they are certainly not sitting back and ignoring the problem. It takes a courageous group of people to stand up and admit their is an issue but it takes an even stronger group of people to say we're not letting this problem kill our community anymore and start creating solutions! Thank you Salisbury for the unforgettable experience!