The City of Gaithersburg Youth Services and the Gaithersburg Youth Opportunities Coalition will host their Opioid Awareness Youth Voice Summit Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park.

The summit, which is for middle and high school students, includes a subject expert panel discussion, student breakout groups and Deena Loude, a local activist who lost her son to fentanyl poisoning in 2020. In the student breakout groups, students will create public service announcements (PSAs) to raise awareness of the dangers of opioid use. The top three PSAs will be awarded a prize and shared on the City’s social media platforms. The first-prize winner will receive tickets from Hot 99.5 to Ed Sheeran’s concert at FedEx Field this summer, and the second- and third-prize winners will receive tickets to the Gaithersburg Water Park and Miniature Golf Course.

 The event will close with a resource fair, which will feature the Gaithersburg Police Department, nonprofit groups like Tree of Hope, Montgomery Goes Purple and The Landing, and information on support programs. Students will also receive a Youth Voice Summit T-shirt, lunch from Subway and Student Service Learning (SSL) hours.

The Youth Voice Summit, which is one of many events funded by the City’s Opioid Abatement funds provided by the state, follows a week of assemblies presented by Tony Hoffman, a U.S. Olympic coach and former professional BMX racer who’s in long-term recovery. 

Since Wednesday is a half day for Montgomery County Public Schools students, the City encourages students and faculty to attend the summit. This is the first of many events surrounding opioid outreach with an aim to raise community awareness because the teen overdose death rate in the U.S. has nearly doubled within the last two years and is continuing to rise within the community.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.