Knowledge Is Power: Community Left Inspired by Substance Abuse Panel


Ben Goldman

Lauren, Zach, and Brandon at their information panel.

Ben Goldman

Impacting the community is a difficult task, especially as a high schooler. Three students at West Bloomfield High School (WBHS), however, may have managed to overcome this obstacle.

Last week, senior Brandon Crawford, sophomore Zach Crawford, and senior Lauren Zimmerman hosted an informative panel on substance abuse as part of their DECA project.

DECA is an organization that prepares high school and college aged students for successful careers in marketing, from finance to business, hospitality to management.

Brandon, Zach, and Lauren’s DECA project was to complete a public relations project. For this, they decided to put on panel on substance abuse, which is growing issue in the West Bloomfield area. It is a serious issue, but unfortunately one that has not gotten much attention. Thus, this panel was created in hopes of educating WBHS students, staff, and community members on such an imperative and serious issue affecting the community.

Through the work of Brandon, Zach, and Lauren, in addition to assistance from the Greater West Bloomfield Community Coalition, four experts were able to come in and speak at the panel. These experts included Lisa Kaplan (Maplegrove Education), Chief Michael Patton (West Bloomfield Police Department), Naomi Ishioka (Beaumont Hospital Troy & Royal Oak Emergency Departments), in addition to a recovering addict from Families Against Narcotics.

In addition to the speeches by these experts, all attendees of the panel left with a giveaway: a prescription lock-box that ensures teens will not be able to access your prescription medication.

Following the overwhelming success of the seminar, DECA supervisor Ms. Zalla was nothing short of proud. “I am so proud of Brandon, Zach, and Lauren…It is wonderful to see our students working hard and giving back to our community.”

This being Zach’s first DECA project, seeing the impact it had was especially meaningful to him as well. Reflecting on the experience, Zach said that “seeing it come together in such a positive way was inspirational.”

The panel was inspiring indeed, and thanks to Brandon, Zach, and Lauren, the community was left with more knowledge and awareness about substance abuse.