Some Ripley and Georgetown students are hoping that two minutes and 42 seconds can help change lives.
That is the length of the anti-drug video produced by the group. It shows police and EMS responding to a drug overdose in the Ripley High School parking lot.
The group met at the RULH high school auditorium where the video was screen for about 200 students. Those students involved with the project said that they enjoyed doing something that they hoped would make a difference.
“What I can take away from this experience is how we all came together to try and fix a big problem that needs to be solved,” said Ripley freshman Peyton Fyffe.
Ripley sophomore Carly McGuffie said she knows someone who uses drugs.
“I can’t really fathom why they want to do it, considering what it does to you. Why do you want to waste your money on something that destroys you rather than put it in a college fund or something that is going to help you in the future?”
She was asked how she would feel if she found out that someone changed their ways as a result of the work the group put into the video.
“It would make me feel happy knowing that we helped someone come to the realization that they don’t need to do drugs anymore or not even start doing them,” McGuffie said.
Georgetown sophomore Kennedy Underwood said that she felt sympathy for someone who is battling a drug addiction.
“I feel bad for them, doing that to themselves. I think it’s sad to see,” she said.
“I don’t understand why they would do that to themselves, considering they have their entire life ahead of them. Why ruin it by getting addicted instead of just living your life?”
The project was part of the annual Youth Leadership Seminar put on by the Anthony Munoz Foundation.
The project challenges students to come up with a project that will make a difference in their community.
Faith Ecker, a personalized learning coach at Georgetown, and Tammy Whaley, a business teacher in Ripley, were the adults in charge of the groups.
Ecker said that the unanimous choice by the group to tackle drug addiction was significant to her.
“To me that says a lot about what they see beyond our school walls,” Ecker said.
“To make help others make better choices is the overall purpose of their work in this.”
The group met last year at the Cintas Center at Xavier University.
Whaley said that the experience was very rewarding for her to see.
“You watch them grow from the beginning of the year. They take the initiative and step forth and say that they are going to do something that will change our small community. Hopefully somebody will see this and say ‘I need help’ and they will ask for that help.”
Georgetown Superintendent Christopher Burrows said that students seeing their peers participate in an anti-drug message should have an impact.
“Until other young people who are respected take a stand, then the problem will continue,” Burrows said.
“It’s reassuring for me that this generation is owning this problem. They are putting things in place to try to start the movement to solve it.” The video is available to watch below.