Two TC West Students Honored By Governor For Traffic Safety Efforts
May 28, 2021
Two local high school students were recognized by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission (GTSAC) during a virtual awards ceremony held Thursday morning. Madelynn Johnson and Reegan Graham, both seniors at Traverse City West Senior High, earned honors from the GTSAC “for their outstanding work on traffic safety issues.”
According to a press release from GTSAC, Johnson and Graham “were nominated for the award by Michigan State Police Trooper David Prichard for their leadership and involvement in the Drug Awareness Program basketball game and Students Together Against Negative Decisions (S.T.A.N.D.).”
The release notes that, through S.T.A.N.D., both teens had been “pivotal in bringing awareness, education, and resources to both student and adult populations regarding illicit drug use, mental health stigma, and counseling available in their community.”
The Drug Awareness Basketball Game, held in January 2020, drew more than 2,000 attendees, shared information about local addiction treatment services, and featured involvement from organizations such as Families Against Narcotics and Hope Not Handcuffs. Johnson and Graham organized the event, interviewed local substance abuse professionals as part of the programming and sought donations from local businesses to fund the event.
Collectively, GTSAC says these efforts helped generate local awareness for some of the factors that can lead to traffic crashes, which are the leading cause of death among the teenage demographic.
“Madelynn and Reegan did an outstanding job at utilizing area resources and professionals to make their [Drug Awareness Basketball] event a huge success,” Pritchard said in the press release. “They partnered with multiple substance use disorder professionals, wellness educators, recovery coaches, and law enforcement.”