Local Survivor star wants to be a “warrior” for kids in the Valley


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A one-time star on the CBS series “Survivor” said he is now trying to use his status to help young people with their drug and mental health issues.

Rodney Lavoie addressed Mahoning County Commissioners at their Thursday meeting.

Lavoie was one of the contestants on the show several seasons ago, one year after his sister died from a drug overdose. Since then, he’s created “Warriors of Purpose” and gives motivational speeches around the country.

His focus is helping to create change in the way counselors, police and others try to steer young people away from making bad decisions.

“Old programs such as DARE, officers coming in with a dog doing the “scared straight” mechanism, doesn’t work. They don’t want to hear that. What they want to hear is who can relate to me? Who can bring out the best in me? Who can bring out the emotions that I’ve been holding my entire life?” Lavoie said.

Lavoie said he is trying to raise money to hold a rally for young people here in the valley later this year. He says he’s working with other reality TV stars and contestants to encourage them to reach out to young people and help them avoid problems with drugs and bullying.