WASHINGTON, D.C. ― The United States Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA Educational Foundation and Discovery Education awarded Porter Christensen of Pine View High School in Utah the grand prize for the annual Operation Prevention Video Challenge.
Christensen’s public service announcement entitled “Waiting to Die” elicits the visceral experience of opioid misuse while taking viewers inside the mind of one teen’s decision making.
Teenagers across the nation were invited to submit 30-60 second video public service announcements that capture their unique voice in order to communicate the opioid epidemic as a national crisis. In “Waiting to Die,” Christensen connects peer-to-peer by displaying self-talk that can lead to poor choices teens later regret. His character in the video urges viewers to “please don’t make the same mistake.”
“Having to operate the camera while being the actor is challenging, but incredibly satisfying when I see my finished product. I hope that through my writing, editing and music, my peers are able to comprehend the emotion I tried to convey,” Christensen said.
The second-annual video challenge is a part of a joint nationwide education initiative titled Operation Prevention that educates students about the science behind addiction and its impact on the brain and body. Available at no cost, the initiative’s resources help promote lifesaving discussions in the home and classroom.
“Teens are agents of change, and their actions speak volumes to peers. Together, we can work toward raising awareness, and most importantly, prevention, among our youth population,” Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson said. “Congratulations to Porter for lending his voice to an important cause and producing a powerful portrayal of the pain opioid misuse causes.”
The winning video was chosen by a panel of educators and judges at Discovery Education, the DEA and DEA Educational Foundation. The other winners include:
- Second Place: Palmer Williams of Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, Georgia, will receive $5,000 for the video “One Bad Choice.”
- Third Place: Calvin Simon, Elijah Mitchell, Hassiara McNeal, and Jessica Ohlsen of Atlantic County Institute of Technology in Atlantic County, N.J., will receive $1,000 for their contribution titled “This Isn’t You.”
- People’s Choice Award: Garrett Miller, Ayanna Fourte, Robert Smith and ZaQuan Muhammad of Kenwood Academy in Chicago, Ill., earned the most votes in the People’s Choice Award category for “Don’t Do It.” Selected through a period of public voting online, the People’s Choice Award winners will receive an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the DEA Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
The prizes awarded to the first, second, and third place winners are provided courtesy of the DEA Educational Foundation.
The videos of the winners can be viewed at operationprevention.com/video-challenge. Winning public service announcements will be featured across DE and DEA digital and social media platforms.
“Porter’s ‘Operation Prevention’ video submission communicated an honest, connected and proactive stance on dangers of drug abuse,” said Kelly Thomas, fine arts teacher, Pine View High School, Washington County School District. “It’s vital that we raise conversations and inspire solutions in the fight against the opioid epidemic. He continues to use his art to help the world become a better place.”
“Congratulations to all challenge winners for starting an important conversation with teens across the nation. We’re humbled by the students, families and educators who have joined this tremendous effort to promote drug-free living in our communities and schools,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education.
To learn more about Operation Prevention, visit operationprevention.com.
For more information about Discovery Education’s Streaming Plus services, digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.