Many students found out in homeroom on Monday that the peer leader Red Ribbon Week Poster Contest started Monday! It is a great opportunity to get involved in a cause helpful to this school. Since this is the first year that this contest is happening, we have interviewed three of the MHS Peer Leader officers: Ross Bell, Ranen Miao, and Maya Pearl in order to explain in further detail.

  1. Can you explain the importance of Red Ribbon Week?

Ross: “The importance of Red Ribbon Week is to not only spread awareness on the negatives of drugs and alcohol but to inspire others to educate their peers on the negative effects as well.”

Ranen: “Red Ribbon Week helps to promote a healthier, drug-free lifestyle. I think it’s important to have this discussion, especially in high school, when drug abuse is a more prevalent issue. We need to spread awareness so that students know the effects of drug usage.”

Maya: “Participating in Red Ribbon Week is important because it is a symbol of our commitment to spreading awareness about the dangers of drugs and alcohol use.”

  1. Since Millburn High School already has so much anti-drug and anti-alcohol education, how is this poster contest relevant?

Ross: “Although Millburn High School already has many anti-drug and anti-alcohol educational courses set in stone, the poster contest offers something different. It allows students to be creative with their ideas, while also promoting good habits. These posters could also leave prolonging effects on other students and could, in fact, change the actions of those who take part in such illegal behaviors.”

Ranen: “This poster contest is a way to underscore our year-long message against alcohol and drug abuse. It brings the topic to center stage and creates discussion amongst students.”

Maya: “Millburn High School already has wonderful anti-drug and anti-alcohol education, but we never want to discourage students from finding different ways to learn and spread awareness. The poster contest is another way students in the Millburn High School community can learn through a creative lens.”

  1. Do you have any experiences where you chose to be drug and/or alcohol-free?

Ross: “I do have experience with this issue. Although it seemed like a difficult decision at the time, I was aware of the repercussions and knew one could never be wrong for doing the right thing.”

Ranen: “Definitely! I’ve always turned down drugs and alcohol when I’ve been offered and joined the Peer Leaders Program to help encourage my peers to do the same. I think it’s important for teenagers to know the effects of drug abuse, and ask them to make a responsible decision for themselves.”

Maya: “Yes, I have had experiences where I have chosen to be drug and alcohol-free. Although it can be difficult to withstand peer pressure and social norms, I know it’s the right thing to do.”

  1. Why do you choose to stay substance free?

Ross: “I choose to stay substance-free because I like to prove to people that fun could still be had without breaking the law.”

Ranen:  “I think staying substance free helps people live a happier and healthier life. Drug abuse and alcohol abuse have terrible health repercussions that I want to avoid. Beyond that, I don’t think we need alcohol or drugs to live a happy life. I think pursuing your passions is equally as fulfilling, if not more.”

Maya: “I have decided to stay substance-free because I understand the magnitude of substance abuse, and the effect it can have on a person and their family. I am proud and happy to say that I have chosen to live a healthier and safer lifestyle by being substance free.”

  1. Why are peer leaders running the poster contest? How do they relate to Red Ribbon Week?

Ross:The Peer Leadership Program is in place to promote and educate others on the negative consequences of drugs and alcohol. Therefore, by running the poster contest, we are able to accomplish our mission and a whole lot more. Red Ribbon week is time dedicated to informing high school students of the negative outcomes that come with drinking and smoking. As Peer Leaders, our goal is to decrease the amount of students who take part in these illegal actions.”

Ranen: “The Peer Leaders are running this poster contest to help raise awareness against drug usage, which is one of our key goals. We partner with MMAC to encourage teenagers to make healthier decisions. Red Ribbon Week spreads the same message we want, which is why we’re so proud to be hosting it this year!”

Maya: “The Peer Leadership Program is happy and excited to be running this poster contest, which is related to Red Ribbon Week because it is a way to encourage students to be substance free and spread awareness about this issue.”

Make sure to submit your posters by Monday, October 23, for a chance to win free Millburn Deli!