Students advocate for change from substance abuse with Bus Poster Contest

As+students+board+the+N44+bus%2C+the+winning+bus+poster+from+the+high+school+division+shows+the+benefits+of+an+alcohol+free+life%2C+depicted+in+a+rainforest+adventure.+%E2%80%9CYou+don%E2%80%99t+need+alcohol%2C+drugs%2C+vapes%2C+or+any+substance+to+live+a+happy+and+enjoyable+life%2C%E2%80%9D+Skylar+Gaffney%2C+seventh+grade+bus+poster+competitor+said.+Photo+by+Ashwin+Kishor

As students board the N44 bus, the winning bus poster from the high school division shows the benefits of an alcohol free life, depicted in a rainforest adventure. “You don’t need alcohol, drugs, vapes, or any substance to live a happy and enjoyable life,” Skylar Gaffney, seventh grade bus poster competitor said. Photo by Ashwin Kishor

The 12th Annual Bus Drug Prevention Contest was hosted to prevent the growth of a popular youth issue today: teenage substance abuse.

The use of vapes, drugs, and alcohol threatened the livelihood of teenagers, and Palm Beach County wanted to spread awareness by putting up student drawn posters demoting the use of substance on the bus. Three students, Bianca Moreno, sixth grade visual major, Skylar Gaffney, seventh grade visual major, and Amelie Cannon, seventh grade visual major, all had their posters featured in the contest.

“Students who competed in the contest, like me, were asked to draw a poster promoting a healthy life without substance. The county would pick the winner, and I won Artist’s Choice,” Cannon said.

Competitors were required to use statistics that the county provided. Rather than ridiculing the use of substance, the county wanted to focus more on having a substance free, positive life.  According to dosomething.org, nine out of 10 teens reported that drinking was not worth the consequences it could cause.

“The statistic that I found the most significant was the one that substance may be good at first, but at the end, the consequences aren’t worth it,” Moreno said.

The main message of the contest was that people could be happy without the use of substance.

Gaffney said, “At the end of the day, it is your choice. Just remember there are always people who can help you. You’re not alone.”