Last night, at a Hollywood-themed red carpet event, the Hawaii Meth Project joined the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) to honor and congratulate Hawaii teens who participated in this year’s HMSA Teen Video Awards Contest, including Kaylee Silva from Kapaa High School, who won the special Hawaii Meth Project award. For the fourth year in a row, the Hawaii Meth Project has partnered with HMSA to increase awareness about the risks of methamphetamine by hosting a special award in the addiction prevention category within the Teen Video Awards Contest, honoring videos dealing specifically with meth.
HMSA’s annual statewide video competition challenges Hawaii’s middle and high school students in grades six through 12 to create public service announcements (PSAs) focusing on prominent health issues and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Entry categories include: addiction prevention, healthy living, mental health and teen safety. Through their partnership, HMSA and the Hawaii Meth Project encouraged students to create videos that raise awareness and deliver a message to discourage teen meth use. This year, 13 videos were selected from the addiction prevention category to be considered for the Hawaii Meth Project Award.
“Year after year, we continue to be impressed by the talent and creativity of our students in addition to their unwavering commitment to meth use prevention in Hawaii,” said David Earles, Executive Director for the Hawaii Meth Project. “Bottom line: peer-to-peer outreach is one of the most effective tools that we can use to prevent teen meth use. We hope that students recognize that their participation in this video contest is truly making a difference by educating their community about the risks of methamphetamine use.”
Entries were judged based on content, effectiveness, creativity and videography. The winning video created by Silva, titled Goals, showed how meth use eliminates the promise of a bright future filled with family, a career and accomplishments. In less than 30 seconds, the video clearly and simply conveyed how intrusive and destructive meth can be to a teen’s future.
For her winning video, Silva received a GoPro camera with her video featured on the Hawaii Meth Project’s website,HawaiiMethProject.org, a comprehensive, online resource that answers the questions teens most frequently ask about the physical, mental, and social effects of meth use. The site’s “Speak Up” section—where the HMSA winners will be featured—is a platform that enables teens to connect with one another and share their own stories about meth through artwork, videos, animation, narratives and photos. HMSA began their Teen Video Awards Contest in 2004 to raise awareness of health issues affecting Hawaii’s youth. The program involves teens in a way that is fun, creative and thought-provoking. It inspires youth dialogue and supports nontraditional learners.
The Hawaii Meth Project is a non-profit organization that implements large-scale, research-based campaigns and community action programs to reduce methamphetamine use in the state. Central to its integrated campaigns is MethProject.org—a definitive source for information about meth for teens. The Hawaii Meth Project is affiliated with The Partnership at Drugfree.org, a national non-profit organization working to help families solve the problem of teen substance abuse. For more information, visitHawaii.MethProject.org.
HMSA is a nonprofit, mutual benefit association founded in Hawaii in 1938. It is governed by a community board of directors that includes representatives from health care, business, labor, government, education, clergy and the community at large. HMSA is a member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Nationally, HMSA and 38 other Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans provide worldwide coverage to more than 100 million members. For more information, visit hmsa.com.
Submitted by David Earles, Executive Director, Hawaii Meth Project