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State Honoree

Erin Radford

Idaho

Erin Radford, 17, of Kingston, Idaho, a senior at Kellogg High School in Kellogg, has written, directed and performed in anti-drug plays for elementary school children over the past four years. The drama class at Erin’s school has performed at local elementary schools for years during National Red Ribbon Week, an annual drug-education event. But when budget constraints threatened to end the performances four years ago, Erin resolved to save the program. “It was important to me that elementary students hear an anti-drug message from someone other than parents, teachers or law-enforcement people,” she explained. “I was determined to find an alternate source of funds.” Erin worked with law enforcement agencies and the Idaho Drug Free youth organization to secure new funding, then wrote a play, assigned roles, developed costumes, scheduled performances, arranged transportation and solicited community support. To hold the attention of her young audiences, Erin made sure the serious message of her scripts was enlivened with humor and interesting characters – and has seen the impact. “The kids have really gotten involved in our presentations by cheering and singing the songs,” she said. “The enthusiasm of the kids is really gratifying.”