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Red Ribbon Week

Kaylee Jorgensen, Staff Writer

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Every year we see decorations and posters for Red Ribbon Week, but what is the purpose behind this week and what is it about? In an interview with Ms. Meister, Geneva High School’s Health teacher and the sponsor of the STAR Club, I found out exactly what this week is all about. When asked about this important week, she had a lot to say; “Red ribbon week is a celebration that has been done since the 80s and it’s a nationally recognized drug prevention and drug awareness week. It was actually in honor of a DEA agent named Enrique Camarena. Enrique Camarena was an undercover agent in Mexico who in 1985 was killed by the drug cartel. So, his family started wearing red ribbons in honor of his memory and the legacy he had and the message he was trying to send, and so ever since his death red ribbon week has been in honor of his work and trying to promote drug prevention.”

Handfuls of concerned parents and communities who were convinced they should begin to play a leadership role in drug prevention began the first steps towards the National Family Partnership that is today a national leader in drug prevention education & advocacy. NFP’s work is recognized through its growing network of nearly 100 Partners, consisting of local coalitions, PTO groups, and parent committees. This group fights for awareness, advocacy, and making sure resources and help can be provided to people in need. At GHS, Ms. Meister, along with others students and clubs, have worked hard these past couple of weeks in this fight to make everyone aware as well. “One of the things we did was part of our decorations this year we have a banner down Viking Blvd., and it’s a compilation of different short essays that some of my students wrote and I had asked them to write about a loved one or somebody they cared about that was negatively affected by drugs. So they wrote anonymous stories about experiences they’ve had or a loved one had and we put those up on the red butcher paper to educate people on that.”

Now the question is, how can you help make this week and the future of drug prevention a success? All week there has been a food drive for the local church food pantry that serve the tri-city area, in which second hour classes have been in competition with one another to try and collect as much food as possible. “One of the other things that kids can do is just start talking a bit about the experiences they have seen their friends go through and the cautionary tales. People can also start seeking out more positive activities or natural highs like music, sports, and different kinds of things people can get involved in to feel good in a natural way instead of a chemical way.”

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Red Ribbon Week