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Local students speak out against youth substance abuse

The Cleveland County Board of Health recognized winners of the Students Leading A Change Poster Contest at their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. The Students Leading A Change Poster Contest was a contest that closed in March of last school year in which students in 6th - 8th grade living in Cleveland County were encouraged to design and submit posters featuring messages to prevent either underage drinking or youth e-cigarette use. A grand prize winner for each category was selected to have their designs turned into a billboard to be displayed in Cleveland County. Billboards for contest winners went up on September 1st and will remain on display in the county for a duration of 10 months. The underage drinking billboard is currently located on Highway 18 in Shelby facing north for southbound traffic near Norris Merchandise. The e-cigarette billboard is currently located on Highway 150 in Shelby facing west for eastbound traffic near Spake Farms. One student was also recognized as an Honorable Mention for the contest for his design for an underage drinking prevention poster. His design was turned into professionally printed posters that were distributed to all intermediate and middle schools in the county for display within each school.
The winners of the contest are as follows:
1st place for Youth E-cigarette Use: Adrian Cook, Crest Middle School
1st place for Underage Drinking: Madison Lemons, Crest Middle School
Honorable Mention for Underage Drinking: Guy Scoggin, Shelby Middle School
This contest was sponsored by the Cleveland County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (SAPC) in partnership with the Cleveland County Public Health Center. DeShay Oliver, SAPC Director and Coordinator of Health Services for the Cleveland County Public Health Center shares, "We really commend these winners and everyone who participated in this contest for their courage and willingness to speak out against youth substance abuse. Middle school is an especially vulnerable time for many young people when they are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in. While there are far more young people who don't use drugs than those that do, you don't often hear young people talking about why you shouldn't use drugs. Even though abstaining from drug use is a popular choice, it isn't always popular to talk about. We wanted to provide a platform for our young people to have a voice on this important issue facing young people."
For more information on the Cleveland County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, youth substance use, or how to engage kids in the conversation, please visit www.talkitoutclevelandcounty.com.
Submitted by DeShay Oliver

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