Stadium High School group wins competition to present peer-based prevention programs
GRAND MOUND – Teens from all over the state gathered at Great Wolf Lodge last week to share ideas about reducing drug and alcohol abuse, violence and other destructive behaviors. Among the PowerPoint slides, costumes, singing and role-playing, one theme came up again and again: Prescription drug abuse is a growing, yet hidden, threat to young people.
“These young adults demonstrate a growing awareness of the prescription drug threat and an eagerness to alert their peers to the problem,” said Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna. “We’ve seen a stunning spike in the number of kids experimenting with prescription drugs. Yet, most teens and adults have no idea that painkillers can be lethal.”
At the 2010 Spring Youth Forum, 41 teams presented programs they developed and implemented in their own communities. They competed for each other’s votes in a playoff event with a positive theme. Participants were judged by their peers and adult volunteers, who scored presentations based on five categories: innovation, sustainability, impact, presentation style/professionalism and collaboration/partnerships.
The grand-prize winner, Stadium High School’s “Youth Leading Change,” created a public service announcement aimed at adolescents that shows how abusing prescription drugs can impact a teenager’s personal and social life. The campaign is set to run for a month on Click! Cable TV. Team members Anthony Wood, Jarquiz Walker, Emily Peterson, Tiffany Ewell, Sarah Cuddeback and Drew Johnson will receive a scholarship to attend the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America conference in Washington, DC.
The Attorney General’s Office has dedicated more than $300,000 from consumer protection settlements with drug companies to help fund prevention programs, including the Spring Youth Forum. The forum was planned in partnership with the Department of Social and Health Services Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery to follow-up with students who attended the 2009 Washington Prevention Summit in Yakima last fall. At the Fall Summit, students were challenged to develop prevention programs for their communities. All who accepted the challenge were invited to apply to attend the Spring Youth Forum. Teams with the highest scores on completed applications won the opportunity to showcase their projects and learn new ideas from each other.
- Stadium High School Youth Leading Change (“YLC”) – Safe Streets Campaign, Tacoma
- Vashon Youth Council
- Point Blank (Eastsound Students Against Drunk Driving)
- Sultan Every 15 minutes (Sultan High School)
- White Swan Dream Makers
- Naches Valley High School TATU
- Innovation – Kittitas Youth Coalition
- Sustainability – Skykomish Prevention Leadership Team
- Impact – Lady Bulldogs - Wenatchee
- Presentation Style/Professionalism – Wahkiakum Tobacco Prevention Club
- Collaboration/Partnerships – Washington Music Mentors (Nooksack and Yakama tribes)
For more information about the forum, see: http://atg.wa.gov/page.aspx?id=25324.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For team photos, please contact Janelle Guthrie
Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725