Winners of the Red Ribbon Week Campus Video PSA Contest were just announced!
For the first time ever, contest organizers awarded first and second place prizes.
The University of Kentucky located in Lexington, Kentucky, won the top prize, which included a plaque and $5,000 to support efforts to prevent alcohol and other drug misuse among their students.
Towson University in Towson, Maryland, was awarded second place and $3,000.
This annual contest is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Colleges and universities that entered produced a 30- to 60-second antidrug video PSA focusing on the dangers of alcohol and other drug misuse among college students.
“Know the Signs”
Jasmine Collins, the second year Physician Assistant student behind Kentucky’s winning PSA, jumped at the opportunity to enter the contest.
“I thought it would be a great way to be creative,” the Chicago native told us. With her PSA, which featured many of her PA classmates, Jasmine wanted to show how substance misuse can affect a diverse group of students.
The theme of the video, “Know the Signs,” was inspired by language used in the medical profession.
“Understanding and being able to identify different signs that correlate with diagnosing and treating patients [is important],” she said. “Knowing the signs that someone may be struggling can truly save lives.”
After graduating in May 2023, Jasmine plans to become a Physician Assistant specializing in pediatrics. She credits her mother, brother, fiancé, her friend Jania, as well as her classmates and staff and faculty at the University of Kentucky for all of their assistance with the PSA.
“You Can Overcome”
Kaitlynn Wieler, a Senior Psychology major at Towson, and Hannah Grace Diveley, a Junior Psychology major, teamed up to create their second-place-winning PSA.
Their goal was to spread awareness about substance misuse by using first-hand stories.
“The concept behind our video was to share the stories of two individuals who have been through addiction in their life,” Grace said. “Even though it might not have been their own journey, they still fought the battle alongside their family members.”
“Grace and I feel it is important to talk about substance abuse because some people don’t realize there are many other people out there experiencing the same or similar difficulties,” Kaitlynn said.
This is actually the second time the school has won a prize in the contest; in 2017, Raven Jackson’s animated PSA won first place.
After graduation, Kaitlynn hopes to find a job within her field before returning to school for her master’s degree in Counseling. Grace also plans to get her master’s degree in Child Life/Family Educator with the hopes of becoming a Child Life Specialist.
Living Drug Free on Campus
Unfortunately, many teens use drugs for the first time during their first year of college. All three students agree that getting involved in campus activities, and using their resources early on, is a good way to stay on the right path.
“These spaces are normally filled with equal minded people and can create an open environment for a student who might be having hardships,” Grace said.
Learn more about the PSA contest, and watch winning videos from previous years, on the official website.
Watch the winners being announced at the NASPA Strategies Conferences below.