"Underage and Under the Influence" Premieres on PBS
Inspiring Story of Young Athlete’s Struggle
Release Date: 3/26/2009. Expired: 4/21/2009
Underage and Under the Influence, a special program about the dangers of drunk driving, will debut on Nashville Public Television and all Tennessee public television stations Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. CDT.
The Emmy Award winning media team of The Renaissance Center produced the one- hour presentation that features the real life story of Blake McMeans, one of America’s top amateur tennis players, and his journey from center court to wheelchair. This emotional and inspiring documentary reveals how the young man transformed his tragedy into a powerful, cautionary story for young people everywhere.
McMeans’ rise to tennis championships and stardom came to an agonizing halt on a cold November night in 1994 when, after a night of drinking, the 17-year-old high school senior decided to drive home. He made it as far as the road on which he lived before losing control of his vehicle and hitting a tree. Airlifted to a local hospital, Blake lay in a coma for three and a half months, facing a life of being paralyzed.
Today, Blake has defied his dire prognosis and, while mostly confined to a wheelchair, dedicated his life to reaching people of all ages about the consequences of drinking and driving. “It would be very difficult for any person who hasn’t experienced what I’ve experienced since that tragic mistake to understand the adversity, the hardship, the enormous struggle, that I, and my family, have had to go through,” Blake writes in his bio.
Underage and Under The Influence is a compelling program produced by The Renaissance Center Multimedia Department and funded by the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO). The documentary about Blake McMeans is followed by a discussion on how parents, educators and young people can work together to prevent such tragedies. Steve Hall, Senior Director of Multimedia at The Renaissance Center hosts the conversation. The project is part of a statewide initiative by the GHSO, Nashville Public Television and all other PBS stations in Tennessee to educate youth on the dangers of driving under the influence.
For more information about Blake McMeans, please visit www.blakemcmeans.com. Learn more about The Renaissance Center at www.rcenter.org. The Renaissance Center is an arts, technology, education and performing arts center just 35 miles west of Nashville.
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