PEP Red Ribbon Week

The Leadership class and Peer Education Program (PEP) of Moanalua were out hard at work at Mene Square from October 25 to October 29 for the PEP Red Ribbon Week. Utilizing games and presentations, students informed fellow students on different topics such as vaping, sobriety, and the science behind what makes drugs addictive.

“We did a cup pong-like activity, that has facts inside each cup,” sophomore PEP student Ashlee Sakamoto said. “Someone would throw the ball and hopefully get it into the cup, and read the fact.”

Sakamoto and her group’s activity was centered on vaping, its dangers, and its impact in Hawai’i. 

“We used class time to prepare for our activities, and did research on our own time,” Sakamoto said.

Substance abuse, especially vaping, is a large problem for Hawaii’s high schoolers. According to the Star-Advertiser, daily vaping has doubled within the past two years for youth within the islands. Red Ribbon Week helps spread awareness for this and other rising issues.

“It’s important (PEP Week) because if people know about the dangers of these things they’re a lot less likely to participate in them,” Skylar Parks, a junior in the leadership class said. “I think a lot of individuals, especially high school age kids, start vaping/smoking because they don’t know the serious negative effects those things have. They just think it’s something ‘fun’ or ‘cool’, they don’t realize the lasting, long-term effects.”