Editor’s note: The 27 MVP Posters will be featured in alphabetical order by grade and last name in multiple consecutive editions of The Spencer Magnet.

Spencer County C.A.N. has once again recognized outstanding young adults in the community who display strong character and leadership abilities, especially in regard to being alcohol, tobacco and drug-free.

These “MVPs,” or Most Valuable Peers, are nominated by school staff, family, or community members, who share the reasons they believe the student deserves this honor.

Students also submit an application detailing why they choose to be drug and alcohol free, along with activities and leadership roles they participate in at school and in our community. These applications are then anonymously reviewed by a selection committee who often work closely in the fields of prevention, treatment, and law enforcement.

Belinda Sheeley has photographed the students since the program began. The posters, along with the students’ ”Words of Wisdom” or advice for remaining drug and alcohol free, are displayed throughout the schools and community.

These MVPs also share their “no-use messages” with younger children at the elementary and middle schools throughout the school year, including during Red Ribbon Week.

C.A.N., the local drug and alcohol-free coalition, receives funding for this project through grants awarded by KY-ASAP Region 6, and wants to shine a spotlight on some of the outstanding young adults in the community, and the positive impact they have on those around them.

Spencer County C.A.N. was awarded a Drug-Free Communities Grant by the Federal Government in December of 2020, and will receive funding for the next five years to strengthen the local coalition. The mission of C.A.N. is to work with students, parents, educators, and the community to promote, educate. and provide programs, projects, and services to help reduce and prevent substance use and violence in Spencer County.

They are always seeking volunteers to support their mission, and assist with planning successful events to positively impact the local youth. Studies reveal that two of the strongest protective factors are student participation in extracurricular activities, and parental engagement in the lives of their adolescents. Research supports that both of these factors lead to less experimentation and use by middle and high school students.

For additional resources, more information about MVPs, or to get involved with C.A.N., please contact Saylor Aylmer, Director of the Drug-Free Communities Program, at saylor.aylmer@spencer.kyschools.us or visit www.drugfreespencercounty.com or on Facebook and Instagram at SpencerCountyCAN.