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NO FEAR NO FUTURE Makes an Impact

On Wednesday, March 21, Junior League of Lafayette hosted our annual NO FEAR NO FUTURE (NFNF) program. This program aims to educate teens by placing the consequences of distracted and impaired driving right in front of them. This year’s two-day event involved a collaboration with many community partners and was hosted at St. Thomas More Catholic High School (STM).

The event begins with a simulated car crash in front of the school on Farrel Rd. Student participants are covered in makeup and special effects and placed into the car crash before the rest of the student body arrives. Then, the student body is led outside to witness the effects of the crash.

As a result of the simulated crash, one student is pronounced dead at the scene, another is taken away in a helicopter, and another is placed in an ambulance. The student who is deemed the cause of the accident is booked by local police and taken to jail. While this is all happening, a film crew is recording the details of the event.

Once the scene is cleared, several more students are pulled from class, covered in makeup, and returned to class to simulate a student who has died in a car accident. By having these students refrain from using their phones or speaking to their peers, their peers get a sense of what their absence would feel like.

After classes are dismissed, the students participating in the event are taken on a tour of the Lafayette Parish jail, and they see what it would be like to be booked into jail. Then, they head to an overnight retreat, where they share a meal and hear from survivors of two drunk driving accidents. They also receive letters from home and spend the evening discussing the impacts of distracted and impaired driving.

The following day, the participating students return to school for a school-wide funeral. The entire student body participates in this, hearing from speakers and watching the video created by the camera crew that gives an overview of what happened when the students left the scene of the accident.

Dr. Crystal Gustin, NFNF Chair, explains the importance of the program: “From the beginning of my role as chair for NFNF I knew how important it was since I have a niece and nephew who were taking driver's ed and getting their license very soon. Then, getting to work with our amazing community partners who see these tragic consequences that can happen from distracted and drunk driving every day opened my eyes to how much this affects the community. It was especially powerful getting to know the survivors who bravely share their stories with the students year after year. Hearing their stories really touched my heart and made me realize why the program is important. The kids at STM were amazing to work with and getting to see the impact the program had on them [and] made me proud to be a part of it.”

This impactful and important program has been hosted by Junior League of Lafayette in cooperation with local law enforcement and emergency services since 2004. St. Thomas More timed this event to occur the week before prom with the hopes that its strong message would carry through to the students over the eventful weekend. Thank you to NFNF Chair Dr. Crystal Gustin and the NFNF Committee for their hard work.

This community event is a partnership among Junior League of Lafayette, St. Thomas More High School, Louisiana State Police, Acadian Ambulance & AirMed, Lafayette Police and Fire Departments, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Parish Coroner's Office, Louisiana State Police, Fountain Memorial Funeral Home, Gene Robin Towing, Family Tree, Cameron Theyard Productions, Clark Services Audio Visual, Eric Searcy Foundation, The Family Tree, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, and Covenant United Methodist Church.

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