24 under 24 Drug Mythbusters

In support of this year's National Drug Facts Week, Jan. 27- Feb 2, SparkAction and our partners issued a national challenge to find the top 24 young people age 24 or under who are informing and empowering their peers to make decisions based on facts, not rumors, myths or peer pressure.

We ask you to nominate young people who are using their talents, passion and creativity to break through the noise and help peers get the facts—not myths, not pressure but real knowledge—about alcohol and substances. And you did!

The winners were announced on Feb. 13, 2014. Check out these amazing young people making a difference in their communities to promote awareness of science-based drug facts and to prevent substance abuse.

The contest, in support of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and it's National Drug Facts Week, was hosted by SparkAction and our partners:

  • Youth Service America
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
  • Above the Influence
  • The American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
  • The CorpsNetwork
  • OurTime.org
  • Young Invincibles
  • The National Collaboration for Youth,
  • The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network
  • Ready by 21®.

About the Contest

Tell us why and how you or someone you know is busting myths: If enough people share your story on social media you could be selected as one of the Top 24.

How: Nominate someone awesome (yourself or someone you know) using our online form.  Just make sure they're between the ages of 13 and 24.

When:  The deadline for submissions is Feb. 2, 2014. But don't fear, it's a quick form. Winners will be announced on Valentine's Day.

And while you're at it, learn more about National Drug Facts Week and plan an event.

The Details

The contest is open to any one residing in the United States and who is age 13 to 24. Note: Winners of SparkAction contests and challenges in the last 12 months are not eligible to be selected as a Top 24 under 24 Drug Mythbuster. Winners will be selected by a combination of "crowdsourced" Facebook voting and a final review by SparkAction and our partners. All winners and their nominees will be notified by email about their status as Top 24 Under 24 Drug Mythbusters. 

Questions? Email us.


Mythbuster: Natalie Shelton

Helping a small Idaho community get the facts on being drug-free.

Natalie lives in a small Idaho community that lacks resources that are more readily available in other areas of the state.  But that doesn't stop her from making a difference in her community. 

Active in the Idaho Meth Project, Natalie has traveled several hours just to make it to an event and contribute to spreading the Not Even Once message in other communities that neighbor hers.

Mythbuster: Chase Hutchinson

Chase contributes to the awareness and prevention of methamphetamine use in Idaho.

Chase believes in drug-free communities and is active only with the Idaho Meth Project and other organizations dedicated to shattering myths about substance abuse and drugs in general.

Chase looks beyond the reach of his own community and truly yearns to learn and make progress with ensuring his peers be well-informed about the consequences stemming from drug use.

Mythbuster: Bryan Taylor

Helped design and launch an interactive Drug Myth Week at his Michigan high school that other high schools are now replicating.

Bryan is a junior at Cedar Springs High School in Cedar Springs, MI.  He joined the Healthy, Safe, Drug-Free Schools and Communities Coalition in October 2012 and has been a dynamic spark for busting myths about drugs.

Mythbuster: Adam Strong

Pursuing a medical degree to help people understand the dangers of prescription drug addiction related to chronic conditions.

Adam Strong, 21, is a student at the University of Kentucky.  He is deeply interested in the medical field and is working towards his B.A. in medical laboratory science. 

Mythbuster: Evan Massimino

Evan Massimino organizes awareness-raising "raves" in Idaho that blend music and information in a safe and artistic setting.

Concerts and raves often have a repuation for being a haven of drug use. Evan Massimino, 21, is working to change that in Sun Valley, Idaho, based on his belief that the music events that are drug-freecan be powerful positive influences in the lives of youth.

Mythbuster: Karlynn King

Leading an Idaho Drug Free Youth chapter in her high school.

Karlynn has been heavily involved with Idaho Drug Free Youth,an organization that challenges Idaho teens to embrace a healthy lifestyle and become leaders who actively seek to positively impact their schools, communities, and all of Idaho.

Mythbuster: Tian Berry

Active in local organizations sharing information about drug abuse and advocating for smoke-free Burlington.

Tian holds the student position at the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community, participates in Students Taking Actions and Risks Together (START) at Burlington High School in Burlington, VT and stays late after school to complete bulletin boards, talks, and PA announcements.

Mythbuster: Sarah Ghan

A young woman who beat depression and addiction to guide others to healthy lifestyles through a 5-year plan for child and youth centers.

Sarah is a young woman who sank into a bout of depression back in 2010, and turned to drugs and alcohol. She spent an entire year spinning downwards, then one day she was able to kick her addictions cold turkey.

Mythbuster: Courtney Collier

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.

Mythbuster: Julia Melvin

A "safety officer" and role model for sober living in her college sorority, Julia provided advice and education on sex and substances. She also held other leadership positions, served as a semi-permanent designated driver, and was always a cool head among fun-seeking friends and peers.

Now completing her Masters in Psychology at Columbia University, Julia participates in unpaid internships and is employed as an "Activity Enrichment Specialist" at Henry Street Settlement in the lower East Side of NY (an afterschool program for children).

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