Panzau Evans impacts OHS student decisions

Our whole lives we have been told about the dangers of drinking and driving. The horrific outcomes of poor choices often seem like a far-off reality. We think ‘that will never happen to me.’ Sarah Panzau Evans felt the same way until the night the reality became hers.

OHS juniors and seniors received a visit from Panzau Evans, a special guest speaker, on May 7. They were encouraged to make smart choices while at prom on May 11.

When Panzau Evans was just 19 years old, she began working in a bar, illegally. Working in an environment surrounded with alcohol, she became more and more tempted to drink. And because all of her friends were older than her, going out to drink became a natural thing.

One night Panzau Evans was involved in a terrible drunk driving accident that doctors thought would leave her dead. Fortunately, Evans was given another a chance at life.

After surviving such an accident, Panzau Evans felt compelled to share her story. She started off at local high schools, but soon began traveling around the country. She hopes to bring awareness and a new perspective to students, so they do not make the same mistakes she made.

Many OHS students were greatly impacted by Panzau Evans’ story.

“I liked how she was very profound and assertive,” said Justin McCrady (12). “She helped me see how privileged we all are, and we shouldn’t abuse that by stupid decisions like drinking and driving.”

“She really put it in perspective for me,” said Joey Miller (12). “I like how she said that sometimes we, as teenagers, think that we are invincible, but we’re not.”

“She really made me think about choices I’ve made in the past and choices that I will make in the future,” said Chloe West (11).

Sometimes it takes a brutal wake-up call to realize what’s wrong and what’s right. Panzau Evans was lucky to survive, but many others have not been. After hearing from her, I would like to encourage everyone. Please don’t put your precious life at risk because you have so much to offer the world.