Century High junior raises awareness to dangers of fentanyl in the community - East Idaho News
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Century High junior raises awareness to dangers of fentanyl in the community

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POCATELLO — A junior at Century High School has organized her fellow student government members to raise awareness to the dangers fentanyl poses to the community.

For Olive Ashcraft, the junior class secretary, it all started when Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad spoke to the Century student government last year. He informed them about the flow of fentanyl through the community and Ashcraft, then the Sophomore Class Co-President, was shocked to learn more about this as she only knew of fentanyl through its pharmaceutical uses.

“If I don’t know what this is and I feel like I am pretty aware of my community and things going on, then I feel like a lot of kids are missing out on this knowledge as well,” Ashcraft said.

Ashcraft and her fellow student government officials decided to take action.

“He told us that he would really appreciate it if us students could brainstorm ideas of how we could help solve this issue,” Ashcraft said. “I gathered a few of my classmates and I, and we started brainstorming on ways that we could bring awareness.”

The team at Century decided they had to learn more, so they recorded an interview with Roger Schei, the Pocatello Chief of Police. The students used that interview to create a video presentation they showed to the student body.

To bring more students onto the project, they collaborated with the Pocatello High School student government. The students decided the best way to get this information out there was to start early, so they began to put together teaching materials they could present to middle school students.

At the beginning of March, Ashcraft and some other students from Century and Pocatello gave their first presentation to Irving Middle School alongside the school resource officer. After that, they continued to make presentations to the other middle schools.

Getting the word out about this dangerous drug was an achievement Ashcraft was proud of.

“Each year I’m at Century, I want to make a positive impact. I want to stop kids from doing drugs,” Ashcraft said.

After she graduates high school, Ashcraft wants to enter the healthcare field as a pediatric oncology nurse and continue to do work that benefits the community.

“I care a lot about my community. I love Pocatello so much,” Ashcraft said. “I want grow up and I want go to school and then I want come right back to Pocatello. It’s just the community I love to be in.”