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A ‘promising future’ cut short by tragedy

A ‘promising future’ cut short by tragedy

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The choices high school students make can affect their own lives — and those around them — in sometimes tragic ways.

The Todd Becker Foundation tells the story of a choice that cut short Becker’s life.

A group of community youth leaders led by Andrew Walker, student ministries director at the North Platte Berean Church, is bringing the program to town Wednesday night.

“My heart for it was just growing up in this community and just seeing the need,” Walker said. “Not like this is the end-all, be-all, or that the Todd Becker Foundation has it all figured out, but it was just seeing the need for it and saying this is something we can make happen to meet that need.”

The foundation travels through the Midwest and puts on presentations to public high schools where they describe the choices that ultimately led to Becker’s death.

Older brother Keith Becker shares Todd’s story and talks about “potential overflowing and a promising future ahead.”

But his life was cut short when he was killed in an alcohol-related accident while a senior in high school.

Walker said that story brought memories of his days as a teen in North Platte.

“While growing up, just thinking about stories of alcohol-related tragedies, and the much more broad idea of potential and choices,” Walker said. “And (I remembered) how many kids I grew up with had such great potential in them and seeing that cut short because of their choices.”

That prompted him to look into bringing the foundation to North Platte. Walker found that although the foundation has been all around the Midwest, it has never been to North Platte.

“So I thought if we could bring in a powerful message to really help students see that, the impact that could have on North Platte is huge,” Walker said.

Usually, the foundation interacts with students in a daytime assembly that is focused on potential and choices. Then a follow-up presentation in the evening is Christian-based.

However, Walker said this event is different in that there will not be a daytime assembly.

“Not having the daytime assembly is maybe better in a lot of ways, because in that setting, they have to follow the regulations and guidelines that are set by a public school,” Walker said. “At the evening assembly, they can talk about choices and potential, but they can also give the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.”

He said that is significant in that it can be transformative for teens and the community.

“It’s just so hard for students, especially in the teenage years, to see the bigger picture and see that perspective of like ‘wow, my choices really are contributing to my potential,’ whether that be positively or negatively,” Walker said.

The event begins at 7 p.m., with doors open at 6:45 p.m., at North Platte High School in the main gym. There is no admission charge.

The band Chye will open with a concert followed by Keith Becker’s presentation.

Walker said families are encouraged to come together to hear the message of hope.

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