The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Young Marines youth organization announced the Young Marines unit winners of the Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Award. The award honors six units, one award per division, for drug demand reduction efforts through community education and peer-to-peer role modeling.
The winners are:
- Division 1 - Westover Young Marines, Chicopee, MA
- Division 2 - LCpl Caleb Powers Young Marines, Fredericksburg, VA
- Division 3 - Emerald Coast Young Marines, Crestview, FL
- Division 4 - Pikes Peak Young Marines, Colorado Springs, CO
- Division 5 - Lapeer County Young Marines, Attica, MI
- Division 6 - East Valley Young Marines, Mesa, AZ
William Walker, retired deputy assistant administrator with the DEA and a Young Marines’ board member, and Tammy Simpson, drug prevention program manager of the DEA’s Drug Demand Reduction Section, presented the awards on June 5, 2014, at the Young Marines annual Adult Leaders’ Conference in Washington D.C.
“The DEA first met with the Young Marines a few years ago,” Tammy Simpson said. “We were so impressed with the Young Marines’ initiative when communicating with peers and others about the dangers associated with using drugs. We, at the DEA, congratulate the winning units, and we appreciate the Young Marines efforts to educate the community and increase awareness about the drug problem.”
Young Marine units are judged on drug demand reduction (DDR) hours, curriculum and the steps taken to reach out to the community to include peers and others.
Units are allowed to enter pictures, endorsements, proclamations, videos and other items that help demonstrate their drug demand reduction efforts. The best two or three entries per division are sent to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s headquarters, and a winner from each division is selected.
“We are proud to work with the DEA on recognizing six outstanding units of the Young Marines,” said Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “Our organization has embraced drug demand reduction efforts for many years. In fact, our youth members are effective peer-to-peer role models for living healthy, happy and drug-free lives.”
The award is named in memory of DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena who served as a Marine. He was very concerned about the drug problem in the U.S., and in 1974, he became a special agent with the DEA. He worked in Mexico, and he had come dangerously close to exposing the top leaders of a multi-billion drug pipeline. He was abducted and brutally murdered in 1985 at the age of 37.
Agent Camarena received numerous awards while with the DEA, and after his death, he posthumously received the Administrator's Award of Honor, the highest award given by the organization. In 2004, the Enrique S. Camarena Foundation was established in his memory.
In addition, National Red Ribbon Week was established in Agent Camarena’s memory. It is time set aside to teach school children and youths to avoid drug use. One of the qualifiers for the award is Young Marines units’ participation in Red Ribbon Week. The 2014 Red Ribbon Week is Oct. 23 – 31, 2014, and its theme is “Love Yourself. Be Drug Free.™”
The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 300 units with 11,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Japan and with affiliates in a host of other countries to include Germany, Thailand and Hungary.
For more information, visit the official website at http://www.youngmarines.com.
Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations
630-789-8899 or email@example.com