$45 worth of Starbucks gift cards offered as prizes in new drug prevention contest

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In an effort to raise awareness about drug abuse – especially since prom occurs this month in April – students in Friday Night Live [FNL] have organized a new contest addressing the question: “What does drug prevention mean to you?” This part of the FNL flyer shows the varying Starbucks gift card values as prizes for the top three entries.

Jaimie Chun

In an effort to get more students to enter its new drug prevention contest offering three Starbucks gift cards as prizes, Friday Night Live [FNL] has extended its entry deadline to Friday, April 15, club members said.

Tailored around the theme, “What does drug prevention mean to you?” the competition gives students a chance to demonstrate their skills in the following categories: art, writing, photography, movie or music, according to FNL’s digital flyer.

A $20 Starbucks gift card will be awarded for the first-place entry; a $15 Starbucks gift card will be given for second place, while third place earns a $10 Starbucks gift card.

“We thought an art competition would be a very great way for students to convey their creativity on what their vision of drug prevention is,” said junior Montana Paxton, FNL president. “Art comes in many forms, and students are presented with options depending on their strengths to convey their ideas.”

Students can virtually submit up to two entries using their school or personal email by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 15. Participants can, for example, take a picture of their artwork and attach the file to FNL’s Google Form, which can be found as a QR code on the FNL instagram page (@sunnyhills.fnl) or on signs posted in the library and hallways around campus.

The title and description of the work, which can range from a sentence to a paragraph, must also be submitted on the entry form. FNL plans to publish winning entries on its webpage, FNL vice president junior Marcus Gallardo said.

In addition, The Accolade has agreed to feature the first-place winner in its Friday, April 22, print issue.

The original deadline for the contest was Friday, April 8, but club members agreed to extend it to another week because of a lack of entries.

“It’s a really busy time of year for people. … Also, I think FNL is in a unique situation as a club right now to where I think not everybody knows about the club,” said first-year FNL adviser Kelsie Thompson, who replaced her predecessor, Rick Schuelke, after the German and social science teacher had retired at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. “We’re still very much re-branding and re-starting the momentum for the club on campus.

“Everyone is working really hard, but [promoting the activity] is still something that takes some time to learn, so that’s where we are at.”

Nevertheless, Gallardo hopes that the contest will be a step toward fulfilling FNL’s mission to advocate for healthy lifestyles.

“What we hope to achieve with this competition is to spread our club’s motive to spread awareness about drug and alcohol use, so we hope to provide creative means to convey [the theme] and help students on campus see what others think about drug prevention,” the vice president said.

Entries will be judged by all seven FNL student cabinet members, Gallardo said. 

FNL is part of the Orange County Friday Night Live Partnership program.

“Under the guidance of an adviser, youth focus on making an impact in the areas of substance abuse prevention and other concerns that affect their schools and communities​,” according to a statement posted on the Orange County Department of Education website.