Carson City ‘party house’ to bring awareness to teen behavior | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City ‘party house’ to bring awareness to teen behavior

Teri Vance
For the Appeal
Diana Alonso, 17, talks about her senior project in Carson City, Nev. on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Alonso is staging a Party House for parents and others in the community to learn about potential dangers of teenage parties. Photo by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Photo Source
Cathleen Allison | Nevada Photo Source

Diana Alonso, 17, a senior at Carson High School, fears adults may not fully understand what’s happening in the lives of teens.

“They still think of us as kids and we’re all so pure,” she said. “But in reality we’re in a society where we’re not all so pure. They need to understand that something could actually happen.”

To help educate parents and other community members, Alonso is planning a “party house” as part of her senior project.

The party house, which will run 4-7 p.m. Feb. 18 at 1562 Walker Drive, will showcase what might be happening at a typical high school party.

Actors will be staged throughout the house dramatizing different scenarios, including drug use, overdose and sexual assault.

Participants can show up anytime during that three-hour period to take a self-guided tour through the house.

“It’s to show parents what’s really happening with kids in our generation,” Alonso said. “I hope it educates them to guide their child in the right direction to make better choices.”

Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrod Adams will join other school resource officers to assist Alonso at the party house. Adams will bring various types of paraphernalia, along with “stash cans” — seemingly regular items like water bottles or hair spray that can be used to store drugs — for parents to see.

“We want to help educate the community,” Adams said. “Parents can see what specific drug paraphernalia looks like so they can recognize it if they see it at home.”

Alonso has been a part of Partnership Carson City’s youth group — now called One Up — since she was in sixth grade.

“I love it here, so I’ve always stayed,” she said. “I like to help others see the consequences of their choices and raise their awareness. I know I can possibly protect someone’s life or the life of a loved one.”

She was first introduced to the idea of a party house when she volunteered to help with one as a freshman.

“It just sparked an interest,” she said. “I saw everything that was going around.”

She said parents should be aware of the underlying causes of poor decisions youth can make, including sexual indiscretion.

“High school is a very vulnerable place,” she said. “It’s harder to understand self-respect and self-worth, so it kind of just happens.”

Some signs can fall through the cracks, Alonso said, when well-meaning parents are distracted by good goals.

“Parents can be so busy trying to get us into college that they don’t realize their kids are escaping through drugs,” she said. “This can help show them the reality of what is really happening with teenagers.”