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AES, AMS students pledge to be drug free

  • Published
  • By Airman Whitney Amstutz
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Red Ribbon Week is the nation's oldest and largest drug prevention program, reaching millions of Americans during the last week of October every year. By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, young people pledge to live a drug-free life and pay tribute to Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enriqué "Kiki" Camarena, who was killed in February of 1985 while investigating a major drug cartel in Mexico.

In honor of Agent Camarena and Red Ribbon Week, teachers and students from Andersen Elementary and Middle Schools (AES, AMS) attended an assembly Oct. 26 here to educate students on the dangers of drugs, and the backlash abuse has on individuals, families and the nation.

"Any person can watch the TV now-a-days and see what an impact drugs are having on our society," said Jennifer Andree, Andersen drug program administrative manager. "I am definitely passionate about educating kids about being drug free. The things we instill in our children when they're young are what they'll carry through life."

Throughout the year, individuals from the drug prevention program on base host a variety of events empowering children and adolescents to "just say no" to drugs. Students had the opportunity to compete in a drug awareness poster contest and participate in a demonstration that simulates what it is like to drive while impaired.

"We do different outreach prevention activities all year," Andree said. "At drug demand, we like to be active in all the different things that happen on base. With the middle school this year we had the drunken buster peddle cart. It simulates what it's like to be under the influence as they try to perform day to day activities."

Educating and informing children is essential to ensuring a healthy and drug-free environment for generations to come. Exposing the youth of today to the effects their choices will have on their future is vital in the fight against drugs and alcohol abuse.
"Red Ribbon Week teaches children to be more aware of their surroundings and what can happen when they make poor choices," said Rebecca Leavey, AES teacher. "Our goal is to prevent these scenarios from ever becoming realities."

Echoing Leavy's sentiments, Andree encourages students to consider the outcome of their actions before making decisions based on peer pressure or impulse.

"What I want them to take away from the activities and assemblies we have during Red Ribbon Week is that the choices they make starting now have repercussions," Andree said. "The things they choose to do will have an impact and consequences, whether those consequences are good or bad."