This Thursday the Peer Leader Program wrapped up our first annual Red Ribbon Week Poster Contest, and it was a success! We are proud to say that we received over 100 votes for our posters and that we saw amazing talent in the submitted posters. For being the first year that we were trying this out, we were not expecting the response that we got, so thank you to everyone who participated and voted. Before getting into a closer look at our posters, I want to once again congratulate our winner. Stay tuned for an interview with her coming soon.

Poster A shows the theme of Red Ribbon Week for this year which was “Your Future is Key.” The colors are eye-catching and it was a nice touch to add an actual 3D ribbon. It gave the poster more dimension, and makes it stand out more when just passing it in the hallway.

Poster B has a catchy slogan of “be a thinker, not a drinker.” I appreciate how it rhymes, because it makes it easy to remember. Not only does this poster explain that one message, but it goes into a few others. The fact that there is so much to look at makes it interesting and I think about something new every time I see it.

Similar to Poster B, there is something new to notice every time you look at Poster C. There are some dark undertones of there being “no second chances” and “consequence,” which can be uncomfortable, yet also absolutely true. On the other hand, there is a note of hope here about the future. The future that substance abuse can take away is bright and clear, conveying that it is achievable if drugs are avoided.

Poster D actually talks about Red Ribbon Week itself, which none of the other posters do. This is nice, since it informs people not just to avoid drugs, but also of what we are celebrating. I know that some people were not exactly sure what Red Ribbon Week was, and they can now refer to this poster for a quick summary of what it is.

Poster E definitely appears dark, and it is easy to be uncomfortable with what is shown in this beautifully done art, however I would argue that makes it even more important to pay attention to. This poster shows the cold hard reality, showing substances that we are trying to get people to avoid. Looking at the poster, I know I would never want to be in such a position and I agree that drugs are not worth it at all. Even knowing that I shouldn’t do drugs, this poster just pushes it home that much further.

Poster F shows clearly that juxtaposition between a life with drugs and a drug-free life. I don’t see a better way of showing what could be had by just making 1 simple decision and how making the opposite decision could take that all away. We all have the power to make the right decision, and looking at the poster, it seem obvious that the right decision is in fact the only decision that can be made.

Poster G is gorgeously colored in, and has some deep subtext. The person in the coffin is still smoking even near death and what stood out the most to me was how the person in the coffin was wrapped in the very red ribbon that is crossing out cigarettes and some sort of alcohol. I’m not sure exactly why that is, although it is interesting to reflect upon.

Poster H was our winner! It is straightforward and clear, which is what I believe made it win. I like the incorporation of the red color and the way the information is presented would make someone think that it is stupid to even try drugs, which is great. The facts at the bottom add to the overall message, but you don’t actually have to read them to understand what the poster is trying to say. A well-deserved win.

Poster I is also quite dark. It takes a different approach than any of the other posters, showing the impact of drug use on loved ones, not the person using the drugs. For some people, I think this will really make them consider a new perspective about drug usage. The art is also amazing. The artist who made it is incredibly talented.

Poster J gets straight to the point, it tells you to not do drugs and it accompanies that with visuals. Walking past the poster display in the hallway, this is the first one that I notice and it tells me everything that I need to know.

Poster K is vibrant and brings up a new idea of not just avoiding doing drugs, also “tuning out” any reference to them at all. That is the point we all need to arrive to, where any mention of substances like drugs and alcohol are in no way appealing or intriguing. Music is additionally very important to MHS, so I think it was a smart angle to take.

All 11 posters are thought-provoking and bring up points that I think are important to discuss. So, to everyone reading, go off and discuss  what you think is interesting. The whole point of this poster contest was to generate conversation about drugs and alcohol, to in turn create awareness. If you think something deserves to be talked about, now is the time to bring it up.

Red Ribbon Week will end on October 31, however the messages and lessons brought up by this contest can help everyone throughout their high school careers, and more importantly, their lives. Don’t let the discussion die down! These things deserve to be talked about.