Teen Video Challenge to promote peer-to-peer dialogue about dangers of opioid misuse, award $10,000 grand prize and grant exclusive tour of DEA Training Academy
Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring Silver Spring, Md. – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), DEA Educational Foundation and Discovery Education today announced 10 national Operation Prevention Video Challenge finalists. The Operation Prevention Video Challenge – a peer-to-peer platform for communicating messages about the dangers of opioid misuse – invites educators, students, teen advocates and communities to vote for the People’s Choice winner through May 15, 2018 at OperationPrevention.com. The ten finalists’ videos can be viewed here.
“We must educate youth about the dangerous risks of opioid misuse and addiction and engage them in the solution,” said Acting DEA Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “The DEA has seen firsthand the positive impact this program has had in our communities across the country and we are excited about engaging youth in this creative opportunity to communicate anti-opioid messages.”
An extension of Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, and the DEA’s Operation Prevention program, the video challenge encouraged teens to create a 30-60 second original public service announcement that alerts other students about the dangers of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use. Overall, the challenge aims to inspire teens to research the opioid epidemic, identify its widespread impact on the country and the substances’ harmful effects on the body, and start a social movement that encourages authentic dialogue about this critical issue. The winner will be granted a trip for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of DEA agent training at the DEA’s Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Winning PSAs will also be featured on-air, and across Discovery Education and DEA digital platforms.
“This video challenge gives teenagers across America a unique chance to create their own powerful messages and be part of the solution as we combat the opioid epidemic,” said Kevin Hartmann, President of the DEA Educational Foundation. “Whether students are making a video or voting for their favorite, this is about uniting our youth and empowering them to take action.”
In addition to the People’s Choice winner, several other prize winners will be chosen by a panel of judges from Discovery Education and the DEA, as well as community leaders, educators and communications experts. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000, the second-place winner will receive $5,000 and the third-place winner will receive $1,000.
The Top 10 Finalists Include (in alphabetical order):
Calvin Simon, Elijah Mitchell, Hassiara McNeal and Jessica Ohlsen for “This Isn’t You”
Atlantic County, N.J. | Atlantic County Institute of Technology | Atlantic County Vocational School District
Danielle Littrell for “Losing What Matters”
Kennewick, Wash. | Kennewick High School | Kennewick School District 17
Garrett Miller, Ayanna Fourte, Robert Smith and ZaQuan Muhammad for “Don’t Do It”
Chicago, Ill. | Kenwood Academy | Chicago Public School District – Network 1
Jenifer Skipper for “Don’t Start”
Flint, Mich. | Genesee Career Institute | Genesee Intermediate School District
John George for “Throwing Away Everything”
Rome, N.Y. | Rome Free Academy | Rome City School District
Mikayla Martinez and JoElla Sanchez for “Reality Sketch”
Albuquerque, N.M. | Atrisco Heritage Academy | Albuquerque Public School District
Nicholas Mays and Sarah Kouchak for “It Starts With One”
Stevenson Ranch, Calf. | West Ranch High School | William S. Hart Union High School District
Porter Christensen for “Waiting to Die”
Saint George, UT | Pine View High School | Washington County School District
Palmer Williams for “One Bad Choice”
Powder Springs, Ga. | Hillgrove High School | Cobb County High School Area 1
Sophi Schneider for “PAINt Your Life”
Fort Washington, Pa. | Upper Dublin High School | Upper Dublin School District
Last year’s winning PSA, titled The Cork Board by Kyle C., Clay K. and Carter S. of Madison, Conn. was one of the hundreds of original submissions the challenge received. To view entries from finalists and winners of the previous Operation Prevention Video Challenges, visit operationprevention.com/competition/video/archives/2017.
“DEA’s leadership in initiating lifesaving conversations about drug-free living has sparked a social movement that empowers communities to come together to combat the opioid epidemic,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “Discovery Education is proud to congratulate the 10 finalists of the second annual Operation Prevention Video Challenge. It’s never been more critical to empower students to share their personal stories as the opioid epidemic takes a toll on young people nationwide.”
The Operation Prevention Video Challenge is launched at a time where prescription opioid misuse and heroin use have reached epidemic levels in the United States. Operation Prevention is a nationwide program that educates students about the science behind addiction, and its impact on the brain and body. Standards-aligned Operation Preventioninteractive resources, available at no cost, help promote lifesaving discussions in the home and classroom.
“My colleagues and I have been eagerly anticipating the return of the Operation Prevention Video Challenge for our students,” said Cheryl Lykowski, Monroe Road Elementary School Teacher, Bedford Public School District, Temperance, Mich. “The friendly competition allows teens to step outside of the day-to-day classroom structure and work together to use their creative perspectives for good.”
Vote for the Operation Prevention Video Challenge People’s Choice winner from today May 1, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.through May 15, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. ET online at OperationPrevention.com. United States high school students, ages 13 and older, can vote and learn more about the Operation Prevention at operationprevention.com.
About the Drug Enforcement Administration
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets. The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.gov, www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov and www.dea.gov.
About the DEA Educational Foundation
Established in 2001, the DEA Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preventing drug abuse. The foundation supports the DEA through advocacy, outreach, and educational programs. Learn more at www.deaeducationalfoundation.org.
About Discovery Education
As the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional learning, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries around the globe. Inspired by Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at www.DiscoveryEducation.com.