Positive Influences is a project involving high school students trained as journalists by WGVU to produce reports about the underage use of alcohol and other drugs. The schools involved include Muskegon High School, and both Lakeland and Milford High Schools in Oakland County. The goal is to use programming to encourage teens to consider abstinence from alcohol as a viable and attractive option. There is a need for this project since many students perceive the use of alcohol by teens as acceptable even though it is both illegal and detrimental to healthy brain development. This project also stresses the "positive behavior" of teens that do not use alcohol and other drugs. What may surprise some people is that these teens are in the "majority".
The student reports are part of a 30 minute WGVU Radio documentary that may be heard on this web site, has been broadcast on WGVU Radio, and also made available to other NPR stations in Michigan. Hosted by WGVU News Director Fred Martino, this program was made possible by a grant from the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters.
WGVU is now in its sixth year of the award winning Positive Influences project, which continues to benefit youth, families and entire communities. Past projects have involved partnerships with schools in both Kent and Ottawa County. In October 2007, WGVU's Fred Martino was invited to become a member of the SPF/SIG Childhood and Underage Drinking Workgroup (CUAD), part of Michigan Office of Drug Control Policy.