First Lady Melania Trump praised and awarded youth at a conference of the Community Anti-Drug Coalition (CADCA) in National Harbor, Maryland, Thursday hailing them as “our greatest agents for change.”
The first lady greeted the group and thanked them for “actively deciding to get involved and choosing to step up and be part of the solution.”
“Part of my Be Best campaign focuses on understanding the harmful effects of opioid abuse on our children, and finding opportunities to help families and young mothers who have been affected by this very real problem,” said Mrs. Trump.
She recounted opportunities as first lady to hold “babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome – a result of opioid addiction in pregnant mothers.”
The first lady encouraged that “recovery is possible” with the work of groups like the CADCA. “These programs are so vital to our nation and within our communities.”
“What you are learning in these workshops are vital tools that will help make a difference in our nation and our world. You are our greatest agents for change,” Trump encouraged the crowd. “Through your voices, you have the power to influence, transform, and lead your communities from within. You can lead by example every day among your peers, your friends, your classmates, and your teammates.”
Mrs. Trump handed out “Agent of Change” awards to kids who have exemplified this aim:
Curtis Mark of Orange, New Jersey, “has trained hundreds of youth from all over the US as a CADCA youth trainer and represented CADCA in Kenya, Africa,” according to the first lady’s office. “He co-developed the Youth Engagement Curriculum and has been a driving force in the New Jersey Prevention Network.”
Andrea Marquez of El Paso, Texas, “has been the lead youth trainer for the adaptation of Key Essentials Training into the Spanish language and trained it in Costa Rica,” according to the first lady’s office. “She also assisted in the development of Youth Policy and Advocacy training materials and has trained hundreds of coalition youth.”
Fatima Rashid of Fresno, CA, “has trained hundreds of youth nationwide,” according to the first lady’s office. “She is a dedicated trainer who has had a significant impact on the lives of young people through her exceptional training ability.
The fourth award went to Stevi Johnson of Oklahoma City, OK. “Stevi was the youngest Native American female to be accepted into CADCAs TOT program,” according to the first lady’s office. “She spoke at the Drug Free Kids Dinner and continues to advocate for the Youth voice in Prevention.”