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Press Release

Passion and creativity earn two WV teens top spots in Drug Free Clubs scholarship contest

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Two Northern West Virginia teens were selected as winners of an annual drug prevention and awareness scholarship contest sponsored by Drug Free Clubs of America. Wheeling Park High School Sophomore Shayla McFarland and Magnolia High School Junior Cedar Sands were each awarded a $500 college scholarship.

This year’s Drug Free Clubs contest featured an inventive approach that incentivized creativity and insight. The contest empowered students to become invested in substance abuse prevention and awareness by developing unique and impactful educational materials.

Wheeling Park’s Shayla McFarland designed and produced a video entitled “Become the Solution.” Her film explores the impact of different types of drugs as well as trends in prevention, treatment, and law enforcement. She encourages young people to become part of the solution by shirking the temptation of peer pressure.

Magnolia’s Cedar Sands created a poignant poster entitled “Toxic Womb.” Her illustration utilizes graphic imagery to emphasize a startling statistic: Approximately one in five babies in West Virginia will be exposed to drugs and alcohol before they are born.

A total of four scholarship winners were selected in this year’s contest. Each winner’s school will receive an additional $250 award to celebrate with in-school rewards and prizes. The winning submissions will be published on the Drug Free Clubs of America website and utilized in future drug education programs. 

United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia William J. Ihlenfeld, II, presented the scholarship award to McFarland today in a ceremony held at Wheeling Park High School.

Drug Free Clubs of America was formed in 2005 by a visionary group of firefighters in Cincinnati, Ohio. The program enables students to rise above peer pressure by rewarding young people for remaining drug free. Members voluntarily submit to random drug screenings throughout the school year. The program has approximately 3,300 members throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Wheeling Park High School currently has the largest chapter in West Virginia with over 230 members.

Updated January 8, 2016