Congratulations to North Dakota State College of Science and sophomore Jolisa (Jo) Ross for winning the 3rd Annual Red Ribbon Week Campus Video PSA Contest! You can view the winning PSA online at https://youtu.be/7DFbh_0Npog.
DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsored the Campus Video PSA Contest as part of Red Ribbon Week activities last fall. Students who entered produced a 30- to 60-second antidrug video PSA focusing on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse among college students.
Jo, a criminal justice major at North Dakota State College of Science, knew about the contest because she submitted an entry the year before, but was disqualified for missing a key piece of content. “I decided to re-enter because I think the purpose of this contest is a really important one, and if I could help relay the message in a way that grabs the audience in a memorable way, then I wanted to do that for the greater good of our society,” Ross said.
When it comes to ways college students can avoid the temptation of drugs, Jo believes it comes down to taking advantage of free time in ways that are beneficial. Jo said, “There are plenty of things to do during free time besides school work. There are things like movies, arcade games, socializing, cooking, drawing, and listening to music. All of these things can be beneficial if they [students] are choosing things that can make them naturally happy while simultaneously staying out of legal trouble.”
After she graduates, Jo hopes to get a scholarship offer to continue her basketball career and use her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Otherwise, she plans to enter the academy and start her career in law enforcement.
The winning PSA was unveiled at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ 2019 Strategies Conference on January 18, 2019, in Washington, DC. This conference provides student affairs practitioners with the knowledge and skills to effectively address collegiate alcohol and drug abuse prevention through comprehensive approaches. Rich Lucey (Prevention Program Manager) of DEA’s Office of Congressional and Public Affairs made the announcement during one of the conference’s plenary sessions.
As the Contest’s winner, North Dakota State College of Science received a plaque and $3,000 to support their campus’s drug abuse prevention efforts.
Created in 1985 after drug traffickers murdered DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, Red Ribbon Week has since become an annual event demonstrating intolerance for drugs in our nation’s schools, workplaces, and communities. Each year from October 23–31, people in cities and towns across the United States show their commitment to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle by wearing or displaying the Red Ribbon.