Laney student to serve on national youth violence prevention board is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Led by advisor Beth Scheirer, Laney High School's SAVE club has worked, for almost a decade, to help prevent student violence and promote tolerance. Photo by Hilary Snow.
Led by advisor Beth Scheirer, Laney High School’s SAVE club has worked, for almost a decade, to help prevent student violence and promote tolerance. Photo by Hilary Snow.

A local student has been picked to represent a national group aimed at making schools and teens safe.

E.A. Laney High School senior Gabrielle Allen-Destroismaisons is one of ten high schoolers from across the country recently selected to serve on the National Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Youth Advisory Board.

Laney is one of more than 2,000 schools nationwide–but the only high school in New Hanover County–with a SAVE chapter. Founded in 1989 at a Charlotte high school following the death of a student who was trying to break up a fight at an off-campus party, SAVE has now expanded to 48 states.

From the classroom to the community: Laney student group works to stop violence

In addition to working one-on-one with students in mediation sessions and making PSAs for the entire school, Laney’s SAVE reaches out to classmates, faculty and staff to teach them ways to prevent on-campus violence and promote understanding of differences. They even work to show students the dangers of texting while driving and other roadway distractions.

They have also mentored younger students, partnering with Murrayville Elementary School during its anti-bullying week during the 2012-13 academic year. Laney’s SAVE was instrumental in helping Holly Shelter Middle create its own anti-violence chapter several years ago.

Destroismaisons served as historian of the Laney SAVE last school year, documenting all actions of her chapter. She has been chosen as president of the club for 2015-16. In addition, Destroismaisons is a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars and was president of her school’s Latin Club in 2014.

According to the national SAVE organization, one of Destroismaisons’ many goals as a member of the youth advisory board is to “reduce the amount of young people who feel the need to violently end their lives or hurt others as a way of coping with stress and mental illness.”

The newly appointed board will meeting in Raleigh next month for the National Youth Leadership Institute, where they will be trained as presenters and spokespersons for SAVE. At the institute, board members will also plan next year’s National Youth Summit, which will be held in Raleigh in March 2016.

They will also create goals for the year, as well as an action plan to combat violence through the implementation of the three essential elements of SAVE: crime prevention, conflict management and service projects.