Youth Forward Scholarship 2018 – Medication Safety Starts at an Early Age

Name: Payton Serafini
From: Lawrenceburg, Ky
Grade: 12
School: Anderson County High Schools
Votes: 0

In our communities, the overuse and misuse of prescription medication
has become a large and growing problem. It seems like every day there
is another story on the news of someone overdosing on either illegal
drugs or prescription drugs. It has become too common. That is why
this past fall, I chose to reach out to my former elementary school
to allow me to voluntarily teach third graders the importance of
medication safety and how they can perform safe medication practices.
I believe that medication safety is something that needs to be taught
starting at a young age. This was an eight week program in which I
went to the school for an hour each Friday. My responsibilities were
to plan and organize fun, interactive lessons so they would have a
fun way to learn. I would also teach them, answer any questions they
had, and be there role model. It was difficult teaching these lessons
because I am not a natural born teacher. I had to learn to speak
loudly and confidently, prepare fun lessons that would keep them
engaged, as well as be prepared for any question or story they may
tell me. However, throughout my eight week program, I saw myself grow
more confident with each lesson. Teaching these lessons, I realized
how misinformed these children were about medication safety because
of what they observe their parents practicing. When I got towards the
end of the lessons each child was eager to answer the questions
whereas, when I first began, not many wanted to answer. Knowing that
these children know safe medication practices gives me great pleasure
because I know they will be safe and they will share that information
with their parents and siblings. By teaching these lessons my
community took a step away from the drug epidemic and toward safety.

Looking forward, I see a community that won’t have to hear of those stories
of drug overdoses in the news everyday. If everyone invested a little
time with their family or the people around them, our communities
would not see as much preventable devastation as we do today. While I
understand that four classes were taught this program, these skills
are ones that can take home with them and teach others as well as
carry these skills on to adulthood when they have children of their

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