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State Honoree

Brian Vance


Brian Vance, 17, of Yakima, Wash., a junior at Selah High School in Selah, produced an informational DVD and a classroom curriculum that have been distributed to more than 500 schools and public officials across the country to educate students about the dangers of methamphetamine. Brian, whose uncle was a meth addict, was spurred to action after he heard another addict tell her story at a school assembly. "They both had their lives torn apart by something that should have been easily avoidable," said Brian. "I thought about what I could do to stop this from happening to one of my friends."

He turned to moviemaking, a skill he'd developed while working on several promotional videos for his school. Brian contacted a wide variety of individuals and organizations to gather information on methamphetamine use, collected still photos and prevention videos, compiled a multimedia DVD, and collaborated with high school teachers to create a classroom curriculum to complement his video. Brian presented the DVD, titled "Meth: There's Never Just Once," at more than 20 public forums, and when requests for copies started flooding in, he organized fund-raisers and applied for grants in order to make them available free of charge.