Friends, family and students gathered in Ritter Hall’s Walk Auditorium Thursday evening for an event titled, “Remembering and Relearning.”
The event was held in honor of Temple student Ciara Deprill, who was victim to a drunken driving accident in February 2006. Senior English major Robin Hernandez, along with Temple Campus Alcohol and Substance Awareness, joined together to warn students about the risks of having a reckless relationship with drugs and alcohol.
“Remembering and Relearning” is the third event Robin Hernandez has held in Deprill’s honor the past two years.
Hernandez and Deprill met through an AmeriCorps program called Jumpstart, a non-profit establishment that unites children with college students after school hours. After losing her friend, Hernandez said she knew something needed to be done to commemorate Deprill’s life. Holding events allowed those who knew her to commemorate her life, as well as cope with their own grief.
Speakers at Thursday’s event included Hernandez, Ciara’s mother Candice Deprill, Vice President of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry and a student who has dealt with alcohol and drugs.
Hernandez first spoke on her love for education, a trait she shared with Deprill.
“Tonight is about prevention,” Hernandez said. “Each of you can act as an educator.”
Carry reiterated Hernandez’s point with his speech on the importance of awareness.
“No matter how many workshops and programs we do, we never seem to be able to notify everyone,” Carry said. “We have to do something a little more penetrating than what was done in the past.”
Carry reminded the audience that when Deprill left this world, many of her friends and loved ones were left behind.
“Temple is a family,” Carry said. “One of the things families do is look after each other.” He went on to encourage students to educate their friends on the dangers of drinking and driving. “Our next step as a university is awareness.”
A former Temple student, who wished to be identified as Courtney, spoke last about her experience with drugs and alcohol. While some addicts have trouble admitting they have a problem, Courtney said she knew something was not right from the beginning.
“For me, I was living in a totally different world as soon as I started drinking,” she said.
Despite frequent visits to CASA’s counseling services and advice from her friends, Courtney did not receive her wake up call until her junior year of college in December 2004. She led a high-speed police chase for miles, eventually crashing straight into a fence. While no one was injured, Courtney knew she had lost control of her life. Three months later, she began attending Alcoholics Anonymous sessions.
Courtney said she has been sober since Dec. 17, 2005.
At the event’s closing, counseling was offered to audience members who may have known someone suffering from alcoholism and drug-related issues. Audience members were also invited to join each other at Alumni Circle to gather their thoughts.
Kylee Messner can be reached at email@example.com.[Photo by Rachel Playe].