On May 30, the fourth annual countywide FNL & Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Awards Night was held at the Ventura County Office of Education.
Over 200 youth, families, advisors, school staff and community partners attended the evening event.
To start the evening, each participating school setup an informational resource table highlighting the project work they conducted throughout the year. Attendees were then able to visit each station and view the diverse student project work from throughout the county.
The program for the evening started with an opening by Dr. Antonio Castro, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services for VCOE. Dr. Castro spoke to the importance of positive youth development programming, and for providing opportunities for participation. He also stressed that healthy students are better equipped and more likely to succeed academically.
The opening was followed by the recognition of two advisors for their completing five years of service as FNL advisors in Ventura County – Ms. Janet Piña, advisor at Haydock Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Mr. Hugo Alcala, advisor at Harrington Elementary School. Both schools are in the Oxnard School District.
The evening also saw formal presentations by five sites that had been awarded a mini-grant from the California Friday Night Live Partnership and the Office of Traffic Safety. Haydock Academy of Arts and Sciences, Juan Soria School, Lemonwood Elementary School, RJ Frank Academy of Marine Science and Engineering, and Pacifica High School each received funding to conduct underage alcohol consumption prevention and awareness projects at their respective school sites and in their communities.
To closeout the evening, each school in attendance was invited to the stage to receive a plaque to formally recognize their work for the year. Additionally, four graduating students from Ventura High School were awarded FNL scholarships – selected based on an application and essay process.
It was yet another incredible evening filled with fun and recognition to close out another successful year.