Race to Nowhere: Editorial


Your day at work has been brutal. You are working toward a promotion and done everything your bosses have asked you to do and more. You know the competition is intense and the positions for advancement limited. You go over your progress report, fill out a mountain of paperwork, and eat lunch while doing your work or at a meeting. You come home to family responsibilities and try to maintain some social life even if it is just talking to friends. You bring work home because there is more and more to do. You know that to get promoted you have to do more, be better, be smart, sensitive, strong, an innovator, self-motivated and a leader but also a good team player. The work place is crowded, managers overworked and don’t have a lot of time for individual guidance, there are rules that must be followed and office politics that must be played.

Does this sound like a familiar scenario of a high-pressure job? Those that many career driven individuals had to leave because the stress was just too much?

The description above is what many high school students face on a daily basis. The competition to get into college is intense requiring kids to be well-rounded yet academically perfect students. The application for a university that includes a personal statement that describes who colleges want to see, not the overworked, overstressed student that may be writing those statements.

This is the world of our teenagers of today. The myth that parents repeat: “I got through it. I had pressures but I did it.” That may be true but it is not the same type of pressures facing our kids today.

The Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention coalition is presenting the Race to Nowhere. The documentary opens the door to the world of the over worked teenager. It is a film that is important for parents with children of all ages; for the very young, to help avoid the pitfalls and to those who have seniors to help them remember to breathe and to listen to them.

I have written about drugs in Crescenta Valley for years. I was an education reporter before public safety. I am at the Fire House every Tuesday with high school kids; I am the mentor for the Fire House/Prom Plus Club discussion group and for the Prom Plus Club. I listen to these kids. They do talk about the drugs and alcohol in the area but the conversation will almost always turn to school and the pressures they are under. Just like educating ourselves on the danger of drugs we, as parents, must learn about the pressures our children are under.

Race to Nowhere is on Monday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at MacDonald Auditorium at Crescenta Valley High School. Advanced tickets are $10; online sales end four hours prior to event. Visit www.rtncvdapc.eventbrite.com Tickets will be sold at the door for $15.