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Area's 'Idol' talks down drug abuse

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POSTED: December 20, 2007 5:02 a.m.
Hundreds of parents, siblings and friends packed into Club Stewart on Fort Stewart Friday morning to watch more than 180 fifth graders from the post’s elementary schools graduate from the Department of Emergency Services Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.
During the ceremony, guest speaker and American Idol star Stephanie Edwards congratulated the students from Kessler Elementary, Brittin Elementary and Diamond Elementary schools for completing the 15-week drug awareness program and discussed how DARE training influenced her choices while trying out for the popular reality show.
“One of the girls that was my roommate (during Hollywood week) didn’t make the cut for the audition (to get into the top 24) and in turn, she went to go get some marijuana and bought it back to the hotel room. When I got back to the room, I look in the trash can and that’s when I found the marijuana,” Edwards said, adding she asked her mother for advice on how she should handle the situation.
“She told me, ‘If you want to make the show, you’re going to have to make that decision...’ so I did let a higher authority know that she had marijuana and I think it was the right decision.”
At another point during tryouts, the Savannah native said she had to deal with the temptation of “refrigerators full of alcohol and no supervision.”
“I made the decision, because of the DARE program, not to drink and to just leave the alcohol there,” Edwards said. “It was my choice to not use alcohol or be involved with any of that.”
The singer’s appearance was not just about reiterating the importance of the DARE program’s philosophies, however. She also treated students to a resounding rendition of “Hero” before they received their graduate certificates.
Each fifth grader received a certificate of completion from the program. BES student Kayla Asher, DES student Madison Fuller and KES student Lauren Prox were recognized for writing their school’s best essay on the importance of the drug awareness program.
 

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