Students Awarded for Producing Winning Drug Prevention Videos

COLUMBUS, OH — Five students from Genoa Area High School in Ottawa County were recognized today by representatives from Drug Free Action Alliance, the Start Talking! program and Verizon for submitting the winning video in the Start Recording/Start Talking statewide video contest.

The top three videos and the students who produced them were announced and presented awards at the 6th annual “We Are The Majority” rally at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

More than 130 students from all over Ohio in grades 6-12 participated in the Start Recording/Start Talking contest and created videos that offer tips on how adults and other youth can have frequent and honest conversations about substance abuse. The contest was made possible through a grant from Verizon to Drug Free Action Alliance to engage students in activities to promote drug prevention initiatives among Ohio teens.

Sky Marko, Emily Ankenbrandts, Adison Leichty, Shyane Peacemaker and Megan Gould collaborated on the production of the 60 second video titled “It Starts With A Question” to take first place. The students will share a $2,500 college saving award with College Advantage, Ohio’s 529 Savings Program Two students from Marion L. Steele High School in Lorain County, Sydney Wood and Madison Snodgrass, produced the second-place video titled “It Doesn’t Have to Be You.” As runner-up, the students split a $1,500 college saving award.

Delaney McQuown, a student at Upper Sandusky High School in Wyandot County finished third and received a $1,000 college saving award for producing a video titled “Start Talking.”

“As the primary goal of Start Talking is to help parents, caregivers, teachers and students to start conversations with Ohio youth about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, we were very pleased to  see so many students take the opportunity to display their talents and share how they think are the best ways to get those conversations going,” said Sarah Smith, Director of Start Talking.
Research shows when parents and children have conversations about substance abuse, the children are up to 50 percent less likely to start using drug and alcohol. However, as scare tactics don’t work, the students were tasked with creating videos that were creative, positive and offer specific tips to help adults and youth to start those conversations or demonstrate how an effective conversation could occur.

Drug Free Action Alliance offers parents, caregivers and educators bi-monthly Know! tips to give them the tools, knowledge and confidence to speak with youth about the dangers of substance abuse. DFAA works in partnership with Ohio’s Start Talking program to build awareness among adults and students throughout the state about the various resources that are available to help start those critically important conversations.