Steamboat teen chosen for statewide drug prevention council | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat teen chosen for statewide drug prevention council

Luci Franklin/For the Steamboat Today

Hunter Brundridge has been selected to serve on the Rise Above Colorado Teen Action Council.

— Steamboat High School student Hunter Brundridge is one of 24 new members selected for the Rise Above Colorado Teen Action Council. The program is a statewide outreach that strives to "empower teens to lead a life free of drug abuse."

As a council member, Brundridge will be working with Steamboat Springs High School and Middle School to create community outreach efforts to provide kids with options to do in their free time. He also will spread the word about the dangers of drugs through peer-to-peer activities.

"I feel that drug use is a very big issue nowadays, and I feel like most people don’t know what the drugs do to you and what they take from you," Brundridge said.

The 15-year-old went through a very competitive application and interview process before being selected for the honor. He needed two letters of recommendation from members of the community who knew him well.

Brundridge said he joined Rise Above Colorado because, "I wanted to help others make good choices and I wanted to inform them of the dangers so they know what they are getting in to."

Kent MacLennan, executive director of Rise Above Colorado, was in charge of finding the right candidates for the Teen Action Council.

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"This is the fourth year of the council, and we have some teens returning from previous years." MacLennan said.

When asked what he is looking for in an applicant, MacLennan said he wanted "enthusiastic teens that have seen the negative impact of drug abuse first-hand."

MacLennan is proud of the wide spectrum of teens chosen for the council.

"There are teens from all over the state working together to prevent and spread the word of drug abuse," MacLennan said. "They have such a verity of different backgrounds to bring to the table."

MacLennan will be helping Brundridge work as an ambassador for Rise Above Colorado and on a statewide effort to promote positive, healthy alternatives to substance abuse.

"I hope to get others to make smart choices and help them to make themselves the best people they can be." Brunbridge said.

The teens also have an opportunity to initiate a community service project to spread the word of drug dangers.

For more information on Rise Above Colorado and state drug abuse statistics, visit http://www.riseaboveco.org/index.html.

Luci Franklin is serving as a summer intern at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. A graduate of the Lowell Whiteman School, she will be a junior at Saint Michaels College in Burlington, Vermont, where she is a member of the varsity swim team.