Mythbuster: Courtney Collier

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Why I think it is important for Kansas government officials to operate in the light of day, rather than in secret, behind closed doors: 

Living above the influence is Courtney's passion.

Courtney, 18, has been pressured to drink alcohol before, but she always stays true to herself and her beliefs, and denies the offer every time.

Courtney has made it her mission to get the word out about living Above the Influence in any way that she can. In a recent Public Speaking class, for example, she was assigned to write an informative speech and present it to the class from memory. Her topic was, "What it Means to Live Above the Influence." She presented important drug facts and explained to her fellow classmates what they can do to make a change in their lives.

During her senior year in high school, Courtney worked with her guidance counselor to start a club called Teen Institute, a drug- and alcohol-free group for students. In the process, she was asked by a Teen Institute Ambassador from the nearby Dublin Coffman High School to attend a drug- and alcohol-free retreat. At the retreat, she learned a lot of important information which she brought back to her school.

Last year year, Courtney's best friend suffered a serious prescription drug overdose, and Courtney saved hislife from it.  In October, Courtney got a call from her friend at 4:00 AM saying he he had taken an overdose of pain killers, including Tylenol and Vicodin. She knew from her research that the combination was a potentially life-threatening amount. He also lived 4.5 hours away from her at another university, and when she couldn't get a hold of him again, she  immediately called hospitals near his university. Eventually, she was able to help his university locate him and take him to the nearby hospital, where he recovered and entered counseling.

"Saving my friend's life is something that impacted me so heavily, and I want to be able to save other's lives before they make their choice to give into the pressure of drinking alcohol or doing drugs," says Courtney.