Pledging to be above the influence starts at a young age for some.
On Saturday, 37 students from 7 different middle schools in Chittenden County packed Colchester's Hampton Inn for a day of education.
The retreat caters to kids committed to avoiding drugs and alcohol.
Middle school students listened to speakers, played team-building activities, and even practiced their own public speaking skills.
It's all in an effort to help them become peer leaders, promoting a sober way of life.
"Above the influence retreat for middle school students. They are from all over Chittenden County and they are coming together to learn about life skills and making healthy choices and to meet people from other towns,” explained Hillary Boone, M.C.Y.C. Program Director.
"We're trying to get an assembly to happen at our school. We could probably put some of the facts we learned and stuff into the assembly,” said Alan Bigos, Student Participant.
Students from Essex High School's "Above The Influence" group led the retreat. They're nationally recognized for their prevention efforts on MTV's “Unwasted Weekend.”