Md. College Student Wins Top Prize in Red Ribbon Week Video Contest

(January 19, 2018) Congratulations to Towson University and Towson University senior Raven Jackson!  The 21-year-old Baltimore native was just announced the winner of the 2017 Red Ribbon Campus PSA Contest for her creative, animated anti-drug video that promoted healthy alternatives to drug use.

In the midst of the nationwide opioid crisis, young people can play a key role in preventing the epidemic from spanning generations.

screenshot from Campus Video Contest PSA
Screenshot from winning PSA (watch the video)

With this in mind, DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsored the Campus Video PSA Contest as part of Red Ribbon Week activities last fall. The students who entered produced a 30- to 60-second anti-drug video PSA focusing on the danger of alcohol abuse and prescription drug misuse among college students.

Raven, an Electronic Media & Film major at the Maryland school, had a few other ideas before ultimately deciding on the concept behind her winning video.

“At one point, I thought of redoing the classic ‘This is your brain on drugs’ concept but with a twist,” she said. “Then I thought about how important it was to actually give the audience alternatives for drug abuse or resources for help, as opposed to just scare tactics and frightening facts.”

Watch the video 

And, in general, when it comes to ways college students can avoid the temptation of drugs, knowledge is power, Raven says.

 “I believe students can avoid being tempted by drugs by educating themselves and develop a habit of healthy self-interest,” she told us. “That doesn't mean necessarily cracking open a book about opiates, but paying close attention to the vast information floating around.”

Television shows, movies, and documentaries can all be good sources of information on drug abuse and addiction she said.

“Actually retaining that information and considering what that could mean for you will keep you away from drug abuse.”

Raven is currently a student outreach assistant at Towson’s Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Abuse Prevention Center.

After she graduates from Towson, Raven hopes to start a career in media doing editing and post-production.

DEA and SAMHSA congratulate Towson University for their efforts to keep students healthy and drug-free.

Watch Raven’s anti-drug PSA below: