Prevention Council of Branford Recognizes BHS Students’ ‘Be Vape Free in 2023’ Billboard Designs
Press Release, Prevention Council of Branford - Branford Counseling & Community Services
A billboard in Branford is sending an important message from teens, to teens: Be Vape Free in 2023.
On Nov. 28, the Prevention Council of Branford recognized the three top Branford High School (BHS) student artists who created messages and art for the Be Vape Free in 2023 billboard contest.
Led by Branford Counseling & Community Services, the council is Branford’s Local Prevention Council (LPC), a grant-funded program of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services prevention and health promotion division. Its goal is to increase public awareness of alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) prevention and stimulate the development and implementation of local prevention activities primarily focused on youth. This year, Vaping has been identified by the state of CT as a priority problem substance.
Announced in the fall at BHS, the contest challenged students to produce an original design or drawing to educate youth about the dangers of vaping, with the top three selections chosen by committee.
At BHS on Nov. 28, a ceremony recognizing the top three student designs included presentations to the students by Pamela Davies, Clinical Director of BCCS and co-chair of the Prevention Council, Lee Panagoulias, BHS principal, Christopher Tranberg, Superintendent of Branford Public Schools, Branford State Representative Robin Comey, Kimberly Mitchell, co-chair of the Prevention Council and Director of the Youth Service Bureau. The students’ families were also invited to attend the event.
The contest’s first prize winner, BHS junior Olivia May, received a $250 Amazon gift card. Second prize winner, BHS freshman Ella Banks, recieved a $100 Amazon gift card, and third prize winner, sophomore Joey Arcangelo, received a $50 gift card.
May’s design is appearing on a billboard that is currently on view in Branford through Sunday, Dec. 17. All winners received a certificate of achievement, a citation from the state legislature, and were invited to join the Branford Local Prevention Council. All of the winning designs will be featured on posters to be displayed throughout the school and the community.
Goals of the prevention council are to increase public awareness of vaping risks and prevention, and reduce vaping rates by 5% among 12-18 year-olds, by targeting related risk and protective factors.
Membership is open to all. The council currently has approximately 25 members including Branford school leaders, administrators, social workers, nurses, teachers, students, and parents, representatives from town departments including Branford Counseling, Branford Police, Branford Recreation Department, East Shore Health District, and our State Representative.