Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Drug money turned to good use

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Money and property seized in drug arrests is providing $40,000 in scholarships for 160 students to attend a drug prevention conference that begins today in Cincinnati.

        “What better purpose is there than to designate funds from drug dealers to give students so they may attend a conference designed to train them to be leaders in their own schools to help keep their peers off tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs?” asked Cincinnati Police Lt. Col. Richard S. Biel.

        More than 400 Greater Cincinnati junior and senior high school students will attend the 25th annual PRIDE World Drug Prevention Conference at the Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center, thanks in part to the Cincinnati Police Department and the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office.

        Scholarships went to 20 teams of eight adolescents and two adult chaperones to pay conference fees.

        Cincinnati Community Action Now (CAN) assisted in selecting the youths for the four-day conference.

        The Rev. Mingo Peterson, who serves on a subcommittee of CAN and is an adviser for the Evanston Youth Association, said students were selected for leadership potential.

        “We are trying to get some kids to give other kids some information,” he said.

        Keyana Williams, a senior at Western Hills High School,attended the conference three years ago and has been selected this year, too. She said after the conference, she “spread the word” at school.

        Woodward High School senior Vincent Ward Jr. has also been chosen to attend the conference.

        “I want to be a part of the solutions,” he said. “I want my voice to be heard.”

        He said he wants to discuss the issues and look for solutions.


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