Kristoffer Cosby, freshman, is a community role model. As a member of San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse’s (S.A.C.A.D.A.) program, Helping Youth Prevention through Entertainment (H.Y.P.E.), he not only interests other youth to join in the fight against drugs and alcohol with his dancing skills, but he also educates them on the danger of these substances.
H.Y.P.E. is a mobile program, going to schools and Tobacco Youth conferences where they’re given the materials they need to educate others.
Founded in 1999 as part of the Anti-Tobacco wave of the late 20th century, the program initially performed at the Spurs’ half-time shows, later becoming a part of the first “Red Ribbon Week”. “[H.Y.P.E. has] been around for about ten years, it was founded because there was a need to give kids some after-school activities especially though music and dance. It gave them the tools and skills to keep them away from drugs and alcohol,” said Andrea Salazar, Community Outreach Specialist at the San Antonio Council.
As a Non-Profit organization, S.A.C.A.D.A. operates solely on donations from benefactors and now performs at schools upon request. The “H.Y.P.E.” crew’s performance territory is growing, having performances in The Woodlands (Conroe ISD, outside of Houston).
Mr. Daniel Moczygemba, assistant principal, also believes that after-school activities can reap great results in terms of crime prevention. “Anytime that students have activities that keep them engaged will crime be deterred. Being a large 5-A school, we offer a lot of opportunities for students to join and participate in those activities… providing a place for like-minded individual to meet and share ideas.”
The concept of crime prevention through after-school activities is part of a nation-wide movement to keep youth (from all socio-economic backgrounds) from engaging negative activities. “The more involved kids are, the more focused they are,” Ms. Natalie Bates, counselor, said.
As for Kristoffer, he speaks very highly of H.Y.P.E., saying “It has empowered me… It’s gotten me out of a lot of negative things and it’s also helped me meet new people and become a more positive person… I’ve developed more respect for myself and others.”
For more information (and guidelines for joining H.Y.P.E.):
On the web: H.Y.P.E.
Phone: (210)- 225-4741