School wide assembly misses Red Ribbon Week message


Isabella Johnsen

Slowikowski, walks down the center aisle of the gym as he pours his heart out to the students of a lifetime of struggle and gain.

Ashley Boak, Photo Editor

On Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, the entire student body was in attendance at the Red Ribbon Week assembly with guest speaker Eddie Slowikowski. Slowikowski’s presentation missed the Red Ribbon Week message entirely in regards to living a healthy life and avoiding the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. 

Slowikowski began his presentation with an upbeat story regarding his dream to achieve a four-minute mile while running track for Loyola University Chicago by using his four-minute formula. While Slowikowski mentioned his four-minute formula in this story, he never went back into detail regarding what his four-minute formula actually was and how as students we could use that formula to our benefit. I believe that if he would have linked his four-minute formula back to the idea of Red Ribbon Week, it would have been beneficial for us because Slowikowski left us unsure if the formula even was even applicable to the topic of Red Ribbon Week.

Once he was done sharing his running moments, Slowikowski went into the only time that he mentioned drugs and alcohol throughout his entire presentation. He expressed that he has never smoked a cigarette or had done any drugs or alcohol. I personally feel that for our Red Ribbon Week assembly, we should have someone who has a story about how drugs and alcohol have influenced their life and how they have overcome that struggle.

While it is good for Slowikowski personally that he hasn’t done drugs or alcohol, I feel that idea left a mixed message for some students during the assembly. A mixed message that states that you need to be drug and alcohol-free to be successful in life.

Another thing that I feel didn’t relate to the topic of Red Ribbon Week was when Slowikowski went into detail about his divorce. Bringing up the topic of divorce and telling students that divorce is never their fault was totally unrelated to the topic of Red Ribbon Week. Unfortunately, some students were drawn away from Slowikowski’s presentation and were brought back into a time of their parents’ divorce, that didn’t relate to the presentation at all. 

The topic of divorce wasn’t the only topic that didn’t relate to Red Ribbon Week. Slowikowski then proceeds to share a story about a time that he met a father whose son was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. While Slowikowski was sharing this story, he explained to us as his audience that he presented for the father for free due to his sponsorships.

This information should not have been shared with the students because it left an unprofessional image for Slowikowski’s company. 

This area of Slowikowski’s presentation seemed more like a self-promotion for his company than anything. Not only did he mention how he spoke at the school for free, but he also brought up, yet another topic that had absolutely nothing to do with living a healthy lifestyle or staying drug and alcohol-free.

Going off of leaving an unprofessional image for Slowikowski’s company, he gave out his 15-year-old daughter’s Snapchat in front of the entire school. While this may have been intended to be a joke, it left me wondering if Slowikowski was here to promote his family’s social media platforms or if he was here to present a presentation regarding Red Ribbon Week.

Lastly, I feel that Slowikowski’s dancing wasn’t the most appropriate thing to be doing in front of a student body. He performed new dances such as the woah and old dance moves such as the moonwalk. Some of Slowikowski’s gestures during his dances left students laughing and thinking that his presentation was more of a joke than an educational moment.

Overall, I feel that Slowikowski’s presentation had nothing to do with the Red Ribbon Week message regarding how to live a healthy and drug and alcohol-free life. I was highly disappointed that our presenter focused more on promoting his company than on educating us about how to life a healthy lifestyle. My hope for the future of Red Ribbon Week assemblies is that our school will bring someone in who has a story regarding how drugs and alcohol have impacted their life and how they have overcome that challenge.