Educators use Break the Grey program to help to teenagers - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Educators use Break the Grey program to help to teenagers

Author, singer, speaker, and ex-convict Bill Ballenger tries to keep teenage stresses from leading the wrong way. Author, singer, speaker, and ex-convict Bill Ballenger tries to keep teenage stresses from leading the wrong way.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Tennessee Valley educators are considering an emotional appeal to area teenagers to steer them away from some very wrong tracks. An ex-convict who fought his way back to becoming a youth counselor is offering his own painful life lessons and hoping kids will listen.

17-year-old Hannah McMillan feels the anxieties many teenagers do. Extremes like drinking and drug abuse may be something she encounters more in movies or lectures than in person, but the stress is there.

"It's pressure," said McMillan. "It's kind of difficult trying to decide what you want to do with your whole life right now when you're just 17."

Author, singer, speaker, and ex-convict Bill Ballenger tries to keep those stresses from leading the wrong way.

"A lot of students identify with the environment around them," Ballenger said. "A certain crowd of students, a certain crowd of people, not realizing that sometimes those decisions, trying to identify with that certain crowd could be the death of you."

Ballenger's "Break the Grey" program of school assemblies starring him, couples with more personal contact with his staff of young interns who offer struggling teenagers peers to help them open up, tackle their demons, and make better choices.

"Because we are their age, so it's like ‘oh man, they're relatable. I can talk to them.' They'll understand," said intern Rachael Phillips.

"This allows a person to maybe shake the kids up, and allow them to talk about things they wouldn't necessarily open up to other people about," said Huntsville School Board President David Blair.

Blair also said the Area Schools Foundation may want to bring one of Ballenger's assemblies to town, especially if it can open up the lines of communication to area kids. "You don't ever necessarily have stuff that stays behind, and that's what we kind of see with this. It looks like they build a network of the kids and the interns."

The Break the Grey organization is planning on a series of its assemblies in the Huntsville area in the last week of April, with whichever schools and school systems are interested in participating.

Remember, when breaking news happens, we break it first online, by email, and by text. If you want to receive our breaking news alerts by text, pull out your phone right now and text NEWS to 44848. Message and data rates may apply. You can text STOP at any time to cancel your subscription, text HELP for more information, or call 877-571-0774 for support.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Police: 3 charged in shooting at Petal apartment

    Police: 3 charged in shooting at Petal apartment

    Monday, April 23 2018 3:30 PM EDT2018-04-23 19:30:35 GMT
    Raul Tlaxcala, 18, charged with Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; (Photo Source:Forrest County jail docket)Raul Tlaxcala, 18, charged with Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; (Photo Source:Forrest County jail docket)

    Petal police are investigating a shooting that occurred Saturday night. According the authorities, the shooting happened around 8 o'clock at an apartment complex.  Detectives tell us the incident involved a man and three brothers. Detectives believe the shooting stemmed in a dispute involving a female. The fourth man involved, the victim, was shot once and was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The victim has since ...

    More >>

    Petal police are investigating a shooting that occurred Saturday night. According the authorities, the shooting happened around 8 o'clock at an apartment complex.  Detectives tell us the incident involved a man and three brothers. Detectives believe the shooting stemmed in a dispute involving a female. The fourth man involved, the victim, was shot once and was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The victim has since ...

    More >>
  • Man found dead in burning Hattiesburg home identified

    Man found dead in burning Hattiesburg home identified

    Monday, April 23 2018 1:49 PM EDT2018-04-23 17:49:24 GMT
    According to Hattiesburg police, Anderson’s body was found when firefighters entered the home through the back door. (Photo source: WDAM)According to Hattiesburg police, Anderson’s body was found when firefighters entered the home through the back door. (Photo source: WDAM)
    When the Hattiesburg Fire Department arrived, a home on East 5th Street was engulfed in flames. (Photo source: WDAM)When the Hattiesburg Fire Department arrived, a home on East 5th Street was engulfed in flames. (Photo source: WDAM)

    We now know the identity of the man whose body was found after a house burned down in Hattiesburg last month.

    More >>

    We now know the identity of the man whose body was found after a house burned down in Hattiesburg last month.

    More >>
  • Crash involving school bus in Lamar County

    Crash involving school bus in Lamar County

    Monday, April 23 2018 11:27 AM EDT2018-04-23 15:27:12 GMT
    According to police, students were on the bus at the time of the crash. (Photo source: Hope Housley Martin)According to police, students were on the bus at the time of the crash. (Photo source: Hope Housley Martin)

    Sumrall police and Lamar County Sheriff’s deputies are on the scene of a crash involving a school bus just south of Sumrall on state Route 589.

    More >>

    Sumrall police and Lamar County Sheriff’s deputies are on the scene of a crash involving a school bus just south of Sumrall on state Route 589.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly