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GJHS eighth-grader Chase Tekulve does not use alcohol or drugs because, “They can’t help you do anything. They’re just bad.” Chase Tekulve is The Wall.

GREENSBURG — The Greensburg Prevention Group/Community Action Coalition sponsored “Be the Wall 2020-21” posters will roll out to Decatur County in October, introducing 10 outstanding youth from all points in the county. Each has signed a pledge and agreed to live as a role model for their peers by saying “no” to drugs and alcohol.

To be considered for the “Be the Wall” program, each student must submit an essay on why they feel it’s important to say no to drugs and alcohol in their lives.

The words in Chase Tekulve’s essay sound as if they were written by someone perhaps thrice his age; he speaks with a simplicity and wisdom uncommon in most 13-year-olds.

“Role models are always positive, friendly, trustworthy and confident in themselves” Chase wrote in his essay. And when meeting the friendly young man, one sees he lives up to his own expectations.

He writes, “When you are kind to others, life is a lot more pleasing.” He said he’s learned this from his personal experience. “When you’re nice to people, you don’t have enemies, and if an enemy does turn up you know your friends have your back. It’s sure a lot more pleasing than having others oppose you.”

Chase is a very positive young man and knows he is responsible for his own happiness.

“Things that make me sad include anytime I don’t do my very best,” he said. “If you decide to think about the positive, then it diminishes the darkness inside of you.”

His parents are both educators. His father Elliott Tekulve works in the Batesville school system and coaches Little League baseball. His mother Katina teaches biology and coaches at GCHS. According to Chase, they help each other run the household and share many of the responsibilities there.

Chase spends much of his free time with his parents because “they’re both pretty amazing people.” When you ask him about his little brother, who’s in fourth grade, he laughs to himself and says, “He’s probably gonna turn out like me. He’s super positive!”

Chase has a large group of friends whom he says he will help whenever he can. He thinks he’s the leader because “I like to keep everybody in line and do the best they can. I think they look up to me, and that pleases me because I want them to be successful too.”

Chase plays baseball, basketball and runs cross country and track. He’d like to continue competing as long as he can because sports are as important to him as are his favorite subjects in school: math and science.

What does he want to be after college? A wildlife-biologist, because he likes to learn about animals.

“I want to be remembered as someone who’s helpful and a good person,” he said.

As for drugs and alcohol, he said, “ They don’t help you with anything- school, sports or any of that. They’re just bad. And none of my friends use either that I’m aware of. If they did, I would try to help them to stop.”

Chase Tekulve is the wall.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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