The Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA Educational Foundation and Discovery Education Announce National Finalists for Third Annual ‘Operation Prevention’ Challenge

Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 1:37 pm

– Public Invited to Vote for the 2019 People’s Choice Winner to Win Exclusive DEA Training Academy Tour –

 Silver Spring, Md. (Thursday, April 11, 2019) – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the DEA Educational Foundation, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms, today announced 10 national 2019 Operation Prevention Video Challenge finalists. The third annual Operation Prevention Video Challenge – a peer-to-peer platform for communicating messages about the dangers of opioid misuse – invites educators, students, teen advocates and communities to vote for the People’s Choice winner through April 25, 2019. The ten finalists’ videos can be viewed here.

 “Educators, families and community leaders must work together to help stem the opioid epidemic and DEA is proud to work alongside Discovery Education to encourage life-saving conversations about drug-free living through ‘Operation Prevention’,” said Sean Fearns, chief of community outreach, DEA. “We’re excited to continue engaging youth in the 2019 ‘Operation Prevention Video Challenge’ because we have seen first-hand the positive impacts of active and direct engagement with students across the country.”

An extension of Discovery Education and the DEA’s Operation Prevention program, the video challenge encourages teens to create a 30-60 second original public service announcement that alerts other students about the dangers of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use. Overall, the challenge aims to inspire teens to research the opioid epidemic, identify its widespread impact on the country and the substances’ harmful effects on the body and start a social movement that encourages authentic dialogue about this critical issue. Operation Prevention resources are available at no-cost at operationprevention.com and within Discovery Education Streaming Plus, an award-winning comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas. Discovery Education Streaming Plus empowers educators to create dynamic learning environments that mirror students’ use of technology outside the classroom.

“‘Operation Prevention’ is an incredible program to have as a resource at a time when prescription opioid misuse and heroin use have reached epidemic levels in the United States,” said Rodney Crouse, Guilford County Schools educator from Trinity, North Carolina. “The program helps me educate my students about the science behind addiction and its impact on the brain and body. And more importantly, the initiative helps our community promote lifesaving discussions from our neighborhood corners to our classrooms.”

The top 10 finalist videos have now been uploaded to operationprevention.com for a public vote to determine the People’s Choice winner. Monetary prizes for the top three student winners will be provided by the DEA Educational Foundation. The grand prize will be granted a trip for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of DEA agent training at the DEA’s Training Academy in Quantico, Va. Several other prize winners will also be chosen by a panel of judges from Discovery Education, the DEA, and the DEA Educational Foundation, as well as community leaders, educators and communications experts. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000, the second-place winner will receive $5,000 and the third-place winner will receive $1,000. Winning PSAs will also be featured on-air, and across Discovery Education and DEA digital platforms.

The top 10 finalists include, (in alphabetical order):
Andrew Detar, Brendan Purdy and Joshua Milteer for “The Dark Path”
South Fayette Township High School, McDonald, Pa. (South Fayette Township School District)

Aria Kydd for “Think Again”
Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science, Worcester, Mass.

Bailey Chin for “Take a Stand”
Bishop Kenny High School, Jacksonville, Fla. (Guntersville City School District)

Cooper Dyce and Wilson Sarina for “Walking Alone”
Cherry Creek High School, Greenwood, Colo. (Cherry Creek School District 5)

Dalton SherrillJackson HammYanely Luna and Brian Wang for “What Could Have Been”
Coffee County Central High School, Manchester, Tenn. (Coffee County School District)

Jake Sandvik for “Wanna”
Cody High School, Cody, Wyo. (Park County School District 6)

Jordan Walk and Anna Klein for “911”
Twin Valley High School, Elverson, Pa. (Twin Valley School District)

Mia Lazar and Ava Lazar for “The Shadows of Addiction”
Blacksburg High School, Blacksburg, Va. (Montgomery County Public Schools)

Olivia Humphries for “Opioids: The Real Horror Story”
McIntosh County Academy in Darien, Ga. (McIntosh County School District)

Sebastian Nazario for “Same Path”
Middletown High School in Middleton, Conn. (Middletown Public Schools)

Last year’s winning PSA, titled Waiting to Die by Porter Christensen of Pine View High School in Utah’s Washington County School District, was one of the hundreds of original submissions the challenge received. To view entries from finalists and winners of the 2018 Operation Prevention Video Challenge, visit here.

“The ‘Operation Prevention Video Challenge’ is effective – it helps us meet young people where they are. Through peer-to-peer influence, the initiative sparks life-saving conversations about the dangers of opioid misuse and encourages youth to embrace drug-free living,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “We believe in the power of collaboration, that’s why Discovery Education is proud to support the critical work of the DEA to build strong bridges in communities that work to help save young lives.”

Vote for the 3rd Annual Video Challenge winner from April 11, 2019, at 5:00 p.m., through April 25, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. ET, online at operationprevention.com. United States high school students, ages 13 and older, can vote and learn more about the Operation Prevention at operationprevention.com.

“Youth connecting with their peers is one of the most impactful ways to combat the dangers of opioid abuse. Because teens are all navigating the same world of feeling immortal yet fragile, while experiencing fascination and facing peer pressure, they are able to engage in authentic exchanges that resonate well with each other,” said Jill L. Roberts, senior vice president, DEA Educational Foundation. “Teens understand the mindset of their peers and create the most thought-provoking narratives to highlight the ultimate risks of falling victim drug misuse and abuse.”

Operation Prevention is a nationwide program that educates students about the science behind addiction, and its impact on the brain and body. Standards-aligned Operation Prevention interactive resources help promote lifesaving discussions in the home and classroom. Program resources are accessible for free online and also through Discovery Education Streaming Plus.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital curriculum content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected through social media on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest @DiscoveryEd.

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About the Drug Enforcement Administration:
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets. The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at justthinktwice.govgetsmartaboutdrugs.gov and dea.gov.

About the DEA Educational Foundation:
Established in 2001, the DEA Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preventing drug abuse. The foundation supports the DEA through advocacy, outreach, and educational programs. Learn more at deaeducationalfoundation.org.

 About Discovery Education:
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the U.K. and reach over 5 million educators and 51 million students in more than 90 countries. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at discoveryeducation.com.