Lakeside High School sophomore Sana Hashmi, 16, won gold medals for a community service project last year. This year she is planning a self-defense class as her project.
Photo by Jim BlaylockLast summer, Sana Hashmi won a gold medal.
This summer she intends to do it again - not in the Olympics, but in the Family Career and Community Leaders of America's national STAR events.
Last year, the 16-year-old Lakeside High School sophomore did her Students Taking Action for Recognition community service project on Fitness Awareness.
This year she is focusing on something else to help her community - violence prevention. Sana chose violence prevention in response to FCCLA's project called STOP (Students Taking On Prevention) the Violence.
"Usually we do it schoolwide. But this year, I had the idea to instead of doing it schoolwide, where we sent out information or did door-decorating contests, I wanted to reach out into the community and directly prevent (violence)," Sana said. "I thought this was the most direct way to stop the violence in our community."
Sana came up with Taking a Kick Out of Violence: A Self-Defense Session, as a way to prevent or curtail violence. She lined up a certified self-defense instructor from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office to teach the class.
It will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the Lakeside High School gymnasium. Other club members will hand out information on various topics including violence prevention.
"It is very important for people to know self-defense," said Lt. Patricia Champion, of the sheriff's office Community Services Division. "It is also important for them to know what they can and cannot do. Sometimes people get confused about what really self-defense is. Sometimes it crosses the lines of breaking the law when people take measures into their own hands."
Participants can expect to be taught a few basic moves, safety tips for public and the home, and use of protective tools including pepper spray, Champion said.
Sana also wanted to show that even though many teenagers cause violence, there are many trying to prevent it. She will take this project to the regional competition in March in hopes of making it another golden year.
"We were thinking of ways of getting the most direct, the program we could get the most out of, the one the community could benefit the most from," Sana said. "Self-defense is the number one hands-on prevention of violence."
The session is free. All ages are welcome. Space is limited to 75, so reservations are recommended and can be made by calling Sana at 650-9959 or e-mailing her at email@example.com.
Champion sees the potential community health effects of Sana's self-defense idea.
"Even one or two techniques, if they are done the correct way, may either stop a crime or stop a criminal from committing a crime against a person," Champion said.
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