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Fourteen local students have taken a unique approach to promoting the prevention of alcohol, tobacco and drug use among Grant County youth.
Cardboard cutouts featuring the teens from Grant County and Williamstown high schools have been displayed throughout the community spreading their message as part of the Student Silhouette Project.
“Often youth are not rewarded for choosing to be alcohol, tobacco, and drug-free,” said Camille Croweak, acting chair for Champions For a Drug-Free Grant County. “We wanted to highlight those students who are making great choices when it comes to substance use, and the positive impact that is having on their lives.”
Champions for a Drug-Free Grant County, which organized the project, focuses on the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use among local youth through various projects, including Project Sticker Shock and participation in the Back to School Bash.
The Student Silhouette Project actually began in Owen County and the cutouts were designed by Convergence Communications in Owenton.
Each student was given a choice about the focus of their message and what they wore.
One student is featured wearing her band uniform while another is in his basketball uniform to help personalize the silhouettes.
“I think it is a great way to let others know that being tobacco free is a good feeling,” said GCHS senior Mackenzie Arrasmith, a participant in the project. “It sets a good example. I just wish students could see that it’s OK to not be in the ‘in crowd’ and smoke or dip. It’s awesome to be a positive statistic.”
Seeing herself as a silhouette cutout was a little “different,” said Arrasmith.
“My mom wants one to keep and my friends have taken pictures with my cutout,” she said. “It’s pretty cool.”
The cutout of WHS junior Dylan Evans sits right outside of the Williamstown Elementary office, where his mom works as secretary.
“At first, it was a little shocking,” Evans said. “It was like, ‘Whoa, I have a twin.’ Although, it’s not quite my size. It’s like a mini-me.”
Evans wanted to be participate in the project in order to be a mentor for his peers and younger children.
“Whether you smoke or not is an adult decision,” he said. “It’s not meant for kids.”
The students were chosen by the Youth Service Centers at both Williamstown and Grant County High School.
The silhouettes will be on display until the students graduate.
The students chosen include: GCHS students: Mackenzie Arrasmith, Jason Miller, Billie Hearn, Lauren Paige Miller, Mason Bowling, Mariah Smith, Samson Reed, Cheyenne Sargent, Daniel Crockett and Corey Hermens; and WHS students: Chaz Jordan, Dylan Evans, Hannah Kinsey and Natalie Dunaway.
The silhouettes have been displayed at the high schools, each of the Grant County Oil Fastlane stores, the Bank of Kentucky, Heritage Bank, Grant County Board of Education, Williamstown Board of Education, Grant County Court House and the Grant County Judicial Center.
The response from the community has been great, said Croweak.
“Parents and teachers are so excited to see that students are really making great choices when it comes to not using alcohol, tobacco, and drugs,” she said.