BRYAN, Texas — "You're only given one chance in life so please make sure you wear your seat belt, because it’s the single most effective step you can take to save your life,” said Pam Todaro, program coordinator with the Brazos valley injury prevention coalition.
For the last eight years the Brazos Valley injury prevention coalition has been changing lives in the Brazos Valley – tonight with the help of community partners they are touching hearts.
An emotional night in Bryan, as victims share the pain they felt as the result of reckless driving.
Every 50 minutes someone loses their life to an impaired driver.
In those moments of silence is when the smallest decision can change a family's life forever.
”My son passed away from a car crash where he was driving impaired seven years ago," said Todaro. "August ninth was the anniversary for the day that he passed away and the first two years were extremely rough for me."
Although her journey was emotionally draining, she found her purpose in sharing his story.
Looking into an empty open casket Todaro said “I really feel this program that we're in partnership with, the juvenile justice center really does impact the families and brings it full circle for them to see that this could happen, it could happen to anyone at any time."
A panel of first responders along with Pam Todaro share their first-hand experiences with these young individuals and their families.
"It’s basically going to make them think twice and make them you know also think about other people that may be affected by their poor choices as far as their loved ones,” shared Cornelius Gray, volunteer mentor coordinator for juvenile services.
This program not only educates them but uplifts them to dream big.
12 young individuals will come out on the other end of this four-week course with a new perspective on life.
”We want to give them value and when people feel better about themselves they're going to make those right choices because they want to take care of themselves and take care of their families and loved ones,” said Mary Jo Prince, Brazos Valley injury prevention coalition program manager.
As this evening flooded her with emotions, Todaro hopes with the help of her son they can continue to change lives.
“Even though he’s not here with me anymore I feel like he’s helping to save lives by me being able to tell his story,” said Todaro.
This was a first-time partnership for the Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition, along with the Brazos County Juvenile Justice Center, to help the youth in the community make better life choices.