JEFFERSON — Leah Case, an eighth-grade student at Jefferson Junior High School, was the winner for the Henderson Memorial Public Library's Red Ribbon Week essay contest.
The Red Ribbon Week theme this year was "Life is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free." Students had to write an essay telling what that theme meant to them.
The following is Leah Case's essay:
"Red ribbon week is so important to me because two years ago my sister and I got taken away from my mother by children services. My mother was, and still is, an alcoholic.
"We have moved from houses and schools quite a few times because she could not keep a job because of her addiction. After we got taken away from my mother, we were fostered for a few months until we were placed with our father. My mother lives in another state now, but she isn't just an alcoholic anymore, she is now addicted to other substances. I do not agree with the negative choices she is making.
"From my experience with my mom, I have learned that drugs and alcohol are not safe and they can change someone's life significantly. I want to be happy and healthy, I want a bright future and I do not want to be. That is why I stay drug free. I can stay drug free by seeing what drugs have done to the community. This generation has had so many accidental overdoses, and I do not want to be one of those people. So many children have been taken from their parents because they are not stable enough to take care of their children and that is not OK! We need to make a change, and that starts with us."