Country music artist shares 'purposeful' message in concerts at local high schools

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - High school students at Parkersburg High School and Parkersburg South High School were in for a treat on Thursday.

Country music artist Shane Runion stopped by both schools for two special performances.

"I'm honored to have the platform to do this," Runion said.

Runion has a song out called, "Tattoos." As of the week of April 9, the song sits at 69 on the Music Row Country Breakout Chart. Runion says the song is about second chances.

"We're here to use the platform that the song has given me to talk to the students," he said.

During those performances, Runion shared a message to students: focus on your purpose.

"That way they don't have to look at the negative things in life," he said.

"When we live with our purpose in mind a lot of things go away. I think that's where our drug problem comes in, bullying, and students that struggle with self harm and a lot of destructive behaviors. We encourage them to focus on their purpose."

Runion stopped by PHS on Thursday morning and rounded out his trip with a performance at PSHS later in the afternoon.

The concerts were part of his tour sponsored by the Drug Free Clubs of America. The organization's website says its mission is "to protect our nation’s youth from the horrors of drug abuse, using highly effective tactics to foster their bright futures."

Runion says he decided to hold these concerts because he remembers being moved after performing at a Drug Free Clubs of America rally.

"I used to be an 8th grade history teacher so I know first hand it's good to give back to our students and the community. I just want to give back to our community and encourage the students to follow that lead."

Runion's tour continues next week in Ohio.

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