Country Music Star Appearing at Local Schools to Talk about Brain Health

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - This week, a country music star is appearing at schools around the Tennessee Valley and putting on a motivational presentation about brain health.

WHNT NEWS 19 went to Hazel Green High School Tuesday to see Michael Peterson talk with kids about how to deal with life's challenges and remain positive.

Michael Peterson calls it "TAG! You're It" -- an interactive presentation he puts on for youngsters all over the world.

"For 30 years now, I've been doing school assembly programs," said Peterson.  "I've done over 2000 of them all over the world and it's just something that feels like part of what i'm here for."

An award-winning country music singer, Peterson gave an audience of about 700 juniors and seniors a crash course in dealing with worry, getting rid of negative thoughts and de-stressing.

"I loved his message," said Darrell Long, principal of Hazel Green High School.  "I can tell the kids really soaked it in and i think it will be beneficial for our students."

Peterson mixed in his music and showed videos of his earlier years, when he learned things the hard way.

"When I was 15, my birth father was murdered by his business partner," said Peterson.  "When I was 17, my stepdad committed suicide.  I grew up in a home with a lot of violence.  I was labelled a slow learner as a kid." 

He credits a coach, a teacher, a principal, and a minister for encouraging him .

Now he wants to help other youngsters overcome thoughts of doubt, insecurity and failure.

In his presentation, Peterson made the point that when people tell teenagers not to worry about things, they don't tell the youngsters how to do that.  So, Peterson gave them some tools to rid themselves of useless and debilitating worrying.

"If I practice gratitude everyday, write down three things you're grateful for. If I question my worries and if i'll just simply take action. If students today could walk away with that sense of 'Hey, if I'm feeling worried, there's something I can do about it."

Peterson will speak to students at Madison County, Sparkman, and Buckhorn High Schools this week.

The Madison County Commission paid for the programs.

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