Mt. Vernon High School sophomore, Maitlyn Griner, was recently selected to represent the state of Indiana as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Youth Advocate. D.A.R.E. is a program that is dedicated to teaching children about the dangers of substance abuse, violence, and other potentially harmful behaviors. Maitlyn will hold this position until she graduates in May 2022.
Sergeant Christine Rapp, D.A.R.E. officer at the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, said that Maitlyn’s personality and drive was the exact fit for the program. Rapp shared, “once I found Maitlyn and remembered her drive and personality, I stopped looking.”
Over the summer, Maitlyn traveled to the thirty-second D.A.R.E. International Training Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. During the conference, Maitlyn learned about the responsibilities that come with her role as the Indiana D.A.R.E. Youth Advocate, as well as more training on the consequences and dangers of substances. She also met other members of the Youth Advocacy Board, or the YABs, who greeted her with open arms.
Maitlyn is extremely dedicated to fulfilling her responsibilities and loves helping others; “I really want to help people live substance free… I care about everyone, whether I know them or not and I don’t want them to go down a wrong path. I want them to have the best life they can have,” she stated.
Maitlyn’s mother, Stacy Griner, was at a loss for words when she was asked how she felt about her daughter receiving this title; “I’m so proud of her and her initiative… this is the chance of a lifetime and will open so many doors for her.” Mrs. Griner also talked about the conference that she attended with Maitlyn and emphasized the welcoming and hard-working nature of the D.A.R.E. program.
Sergeant Christine Rapp has been educating Marauders about the dangers of substance abuse and violence for twenty years and is set to become the state coordinator for D.A.R.E. in January. She is thrilled to have Maitlyn in her corner and will be utilizing Maitlyn’s strong desire for change in our communities.
The Mt. Vernon community is proud of Maitlyn’s appointment and drive to make a difference. The district is also grateful for Sergeant Rapp and the countless ways she has positively influenced Mt. Vernon students throughout the years.