Kiki Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, was tortured and
killed in 1985. His fight against illegal drugs and the devastation they do
to communities has been championed since then via the Red Ribbon Campaign.
In honor of his memory community members wear red ribbons of satin and make
a difference, one person at a time. Agent Camarena told his mother, “I’m
only one person, but I want to make a difference.”
On Tuesday, May 14, over 70 adults came together and celebrated as eight
Porter County students were recognized for the difference they are making in
the fight against substance abuse.
Each of the eight students won an award and honor for their submission to
the Red Ribbon contests held this spring in Porter County schools. Two
students each received a $500 scholarship for their essay on the importance
of being drug free. Tyler Birmingham, a senior from Kouts High School and
Elizabeth Wood, a senior from Washington Township High School each read
their winning entry and received a standing ovation from the audience. Their
many activities and steadfast dedication to the cause were exemplary and
deserving of the scholarship. Great Lakes Labs of Valparaiso donated one of
the scholarship awards.
There were two poster design winners: Emily Jerome, a student at Chesterton
Middle School and Dylan Fishburn, a senior at Hebron High School.
The placemat design winners were Sheri Orlando and Julie Tarpley from
Washington Township Schools, Claire Bailey from Liberty Intermediate School
and Michael Magnetti from Northview Elementary. Awards for the students were
donated by Porter County Treasurer Michael Bucko, Porter County Judge Julia
Jent, Porter County Sheriff David Lain, Porter County Clerk Karen Martin,
Porter County Recorder Jon Miller, and Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas.
Dedicated to working for a drug-free Porter County, the Substance Abuse
Council is your county’s oldest coalition working in the battle against
For more information please contact Beatrice Owen at 219-462-0946 or