Miss Florida 2018 Taylor Tyson visited Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS) on Wednesday to speak to students about substance abuse prevention.
The presentation, titled “Real Talk,” is based on prevention techniques included in the Alcohol Literacy Challenge, developed by nationally-recognized researchers Drs. Michael Dunn and Thomas Hall.
The program is the first classroom-based prevention program that specifically challenges students’ preconceived notions about drinking and its effects, according to the addiction research facility that sponsors Tyson’s presentations, Advanced Recovery Systems.
Tyson, a South Florida native, told the Recorder that the topic is especially close to her.
“In my family, substance abuse was never something that was swept under the rug,” Tyson said. “It’s something my family struggled with my whole life, and I feel a personal connection to what I’m talking about. I know that sometimes there is so much of a stigma attached to it and as a society we don't talk about it that much. I believe that in order to solve problems as big as this, we really have to have an honest conversation about it.”
Tyson is currently touring schools around the state giving presentations on the various platforms that are important to her. In addition to speaking about drug abuse and prevention, she speaks to elementary and middle schools about the Florida Everglades, as she did early Wednesday morning at Landrum Middle School. Tyson also advocates for empowering young women, and was the third runner up for Miss America 2018.