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Presentation talks about making good choices

Posted on 10.09.2013

“When does use become abuse?” asked Julia Garcia, founder and CEO of the motivational group TRU. She spoke about the dangers of sex, drugs and alcohol the night of Sept. 24 in UIndy Hall A.

Julia Garcia, founder and CEO of the motivational group TRU, speaks to the audience about the dangers of sex, drugs and alcohol.

Julia Garcia, founder and CEO of the motivational group TRU, speaks to the audience about the dangers of sex, drugs and alcohol.

Garcia began the presentation with a poem about her personal experiences. The poem explained how alcoholism had ruined her life, at one point leading to her being sexually assaulted, suspended from her college soccer team, having to go to rehab and almost being expelled from the college.

Garcia continued by having the audience play a game called “Classy Not Trashy.” The audience was shown pictures of people partying and asked to differentiate a classy photo from a trashy photo by showing thumbs up or thumbs down.

Garcia presented statistics dealing with drugs, sex and alcohol, and she told more personal stories. Throughout the presentation, Garcia had been showing photos of a specific someone drunk during a party or nearly unconscious on the floor. That someone was Garcia.

However, Garcia said that where we have been and what we have done in the past does not have to define who we are in the present.

“What defines us is how well we rise after falling,” she said.

After seeing the presentation, sophomore human biology major Jordan Blue said that she felt motivated to help people struggling with these issues.

“It makes me want to help other people,” Blue said.

Junior psychology and pre-OT double major Johanna Richardson left the presentation with the same mindset.

“It definitely reinforced my values and inspired me to educate others,” she said.

The presentation ended with a stand up or sit down exercise. Garcia asked audience members to stand if they or someone they knew had experienced challenges such as bullying, suicide or substance abuse. Richardson said that she felt that moment affected a lot of people.

“I think it brought back a lot of emotions for people. It was helpful for them to know they were not alone and that they had support on campus,” she said.

When the topic of suicide came up, Blue said that it made her think of her uncle who committed suicide. In the audience next to her was her friend, sophomore chemistry major Jaclyn Hawkins.

“It made an impact on me because of how it affected Jordan,” Hawkins said.

Blue and Hawkins said that they thought the exercise was the most powerful moment of the presentation.

Richardson said that she noticed that many people seemed to be feeling uncomfortable emotions during the exercise.

“It was a good uncomfortable, but it definitely made people vulnerable,” she said. “There were probably people that wanted to stand up but didn’t.”


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