ARCH’s #DrugFreeVIYouths High School Film Contest Seeks Entrants

Virgin Islanders will be able to safely and legally dispose of old prescription medicines this month when the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Attorney’s Office hold National Prescription Take–Back Events Oct. 27.
Preventing Prescription and Opioid Drug Misuse is a possible film topic.

Access to Racial and Cultural Health (ARCH) Institute Inc. has announced the #DrugFreeVIYouths High School Film Contest in observance of 2019 National Prevention Week, May 12-18. The national week’s primary goal is to increase community awareness about mental health and substance abuse issues within a community. This year’s theme is “Inspiring Action. Changing Lives.”

ARCH Institute, a health disparities organization focusing on adolescents’ health issues is hosting #DrugFreeVIYouths High School Film Contest to increase awareness about drug use, misuse and abuse as well as the associated risk behaviors among adolescents throughout the territory. “It’s prevention messaging by youths for youths,” Duane Howell, the executive director of ARCH Institute said.

The film contest is open to all high school students living and attending school throughout the territory. Entrants can be an individual or teams consisting of up to three high school students. Films should be between 60-90 seconds long and focus on any of the following topics: Preventing Prescription and Opioid Drug Misuse, Preventing Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse, Preventing Illicit Drug Use and Youth Marijuana Use, Preventing Youth Tobacco Use, Preventing Suicide.

Coordinator of ARCH Institute film contest Na’Zirah Armstrong said, “This is an opportunity for teens to get involved with helping their friends stay safe and be drug free. They will also be able to showcase their talents and have the chance to win cool prizes.”

“We will be reaching out to all high schools to make sure their students are aware about the contest because it’s important we get teens involved in spreading the message to be drug free to their peers,” Armstrong said.

Students interested in participating should submit their intent to enter via email to no later than Monday, April 15, to receive complete contest rules. Information should include name of entrant(s) and the film topic. Entries can be submitted beginning Saturday, May 4, until Wednesday, May 8, at 11:59 p.m. Winners will receive prizes and appear on WTJX to discuss their film and its message.

ARCH Institute’s #DrugFreeVIYouths High School Film Contest is sponsored in part by funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Georges Royal Inn, WTJX and the Virgin Islands Lottery.