Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Enrique Camarena Red Ribbon Award Recipient

Posted on 02/26/2020 @ 08:03 AM

Sunny Lofton, Principal of La Vista Center in Fair Oaks, California is the 2020 recipient of the Enrique Camarena Red Ribbon Award. The annual award recognizes and honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of drug prevention, and the winner personifies Agent Camarena’s belief that one person can make a difference.

He was nominated for the award by La Vista school counselor Trudy Boyd who described him as a role model for all students to follow. “He is friendly, upbeat and happy and will go out of his way to help the students in any way he can,” she said. “Sunny takes on any situation given to him and manages it in order to attain the best possible outcome.”

A second year Principal at La Vista Center, Sunny has welcomed several outside groups to the school to present information about drug prevention and intervention. In addition to encouraging others to stay drug-free, he is also an advocate of sports programs and work projects designed to keep students’ minds active. Sunny also makes it a priority to get the school’s therapists involved when a student struggles with drug use and addiction. “I attempt to use alternative discipline measures instead of just suspension for those who are caught with drugs or alcohol in their possession.”  He said. He also implemented the use of an app that allows students to stay anonymous when they want to report drug use on campus. He often uses the slogan “Find Your Path” and tries to help his students find their individual and unique ways to be successful. His message for schools and teachers is to recognize their impact and influence over their students’ lives. “Kids are at risk now more than ever,” he said. “And while drugs like marijuana and the use of vaping are on the rise, I am still fighting the fight!”

If you know someone who is an outstanding contributor to the field of drug prevention in your community, you may nominate them by completing the Enrique Camarena award form located inside the School Planning Guide. You can download it here: https://redribbon.org/downloads/

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