Eli Mcdaniel | social media editor
Shiela Hasenkamp-Keehn brought her presentation, “8 minutes” to WHS students Thursday morning.
“8 minutes” was a story about Shiela’s son Parker, who went on vacation in Arizona for spring break in 2016. He was drinking with some friends and chugged a bottle of vodka. After losing consciousness, he died for eight minutes. He miraculously recovered and was home after 12 days in the Mayo Clinic. Hasenkamp-Keehn uses this story not only to talk to teens about the effects of underage drinking, but also to raise awareness of drinking responsibly and what to do when someone’s life is in danger
Hasenkamp-Keehn said this is her first year doing this presentation. She started in September and she has already been to 13 different schools. She is already booked up with schools for the rest of November and December. “My dream, my goal, is that I’ll go nationwide. I’m starting with Kansas and Nebraska because that’s home to me. I’m hoping that it grows into a nationwide presentation and I can start going to conferences, like SAFE & SADD conferences, and become a keynote speaker,” she said.
“The main thing is, I know I can’t make it stop (underage drinking). But when I talk about the after — do you want after high school, do you want after college — then I think that that kind of makes a really strong impact. That’s where that oomph comes from.”
Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Yellow Ribbon clubs invited her to come to speak to the student body.
Sponsor Jeanne Parry said principal Jan Hutley receives numerous requests for people to come in and give presentations to schools, but this one caught her eye.
“When I read her brochure, she had a very good presentation lined up. We felt that it was very important for our small community because, like Sheila had stated, we know that this goes on in communities. So if we can help save one student, one person, then we have made a difference,” Parry said.
Students responded positively to the assembly. “I talked to my mom about it and said that it really makes it less likely that I’ll drink. It was very emotional,” freshman Kyra Smith said.
Freshman Rhett Parry said “I took away that alcohol is more dangerous than I thought. The speech was very inspirational and had some good statistics.”