Mythbuster: Alex Cotton
Why I think it is important for Kansas government officials to operate in the light of day, rather than in secret, behind closed doors:
Part of his high school's prevention coalition and peer group to "unmarket weed" in his community.
Alex Cotton is a senior at Tiverton High School, a small high school of about 650 students in Rhode Island. Tiverton High School has a high population of students using alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.
At his school, Alex works with a group of fellow teens in the Tiverton Prevention Coalition which helps support the school's strong comittment to prevention, education and awareness programming, identifying the drug problems and promoting healthy alternatives and educate students.
Alex works closely with the Coalition and has worked closely with the Community Service- Learning Coordinator to organize projects and activities over his four years as a THS student.
He is also involved with a peer group to work on a project called "Unmarketing Weed." By using his creativity, popularity, and most importantly, his actions, Alex and this group are working with a professional marketing group and the Tiverton Prevention Coalition to dispel some of the myths associated with marijuana use. He also attended a summer conference to learn about substance use and abuse and the importance of prevention and leadership.
Alex has gone out of his way to learn about the dangers of marijuana and other drugs, even when it did not seem popular to do so. He and his group of "unmarketers" have presented information on drug abuse to other teens and also attended a legislative hearing. They have also developed posters and are currently working on a guide book to share with parents of younger students.
Because of his leadership, Alex was recommended by his mentors and teachers to assist a local prevention coalition with the Unmarketing Weed project and Chris Herren presentation as well as the Youth 2 Youth Summer Conference at Bryant University.
Alex manages all this prevention work while serving as captain of the varsity basketball team, maintaning good grades and as a positive role model and friend. He is fearless in his personal drive to make his school, community and the world a better place for people struggling with problems with substance abuse.