With proms and graduations coming up, it's the time of year students hear extra messages about making good decisions. As teens in the northern part of the state heard Wednesday, decisions affect people every day of their lives.
"I had big dreams for myself; I had goals I wanted to achieve. Now, because I made bad choices, there are many things I cannot do," Tayla Brooks said.
Brooks of Rapid City showed students pictures of her recovery over the past couple years. She drove drunk in 2012 and crashed her car. When her dad, Robert, got the call, her chances of survival were small.
"The very last thing she did on her cell phone was taking pictures of her driving down the road with no hands on the wheel and the speedometer saying 92 miles an hour," Robert Brooks said.
David Parnell shared regrets, too. He says drug use, including meth, harmed his life in many ways. He told students that speakers visited his high school growing up, too.
"You may be sitting there thinking, 'I'll never end up like you,' and I hope that you don't. But if you don't stop fooling with this stuff, it's definitely going to ruin your life," Parnell said.
The Brooks' agree. Robert Brooks calls his daughter's experience a survival story. He says teens can have their own survival stories now by making constructive, rather than destructive decisions.
"Don't take a chance; make a choice. Don't put yourself in a position to harm yourself or others," Brooks said.
Tayla Brooks’ 2012 crash followed a very hard time in her life. She's also reaching out to people, asking them to find coping strategies apart from alcohol.