A local tragedy inspired Jordyn Schara, a 17-year-old from
Wisconsin, to learn about proper medication disposal.
“When a teenage boy in my area died because he abused
prescription drugs that his girlfriend had stolen from her grandmother’s medicine
cabinet, I was so saddened. His life was thrown away because of a few pills,”
she explains. She learned that many
people flush unwanted meds down the toilet, which has negative environmental effects
and can be harmful to drinking water. “I decided to make it my personal mission
to educate people on the proper way to dispose of medication and make it easy
for them to do so.”
“I created WIP2D2, which stands for Wisconsin Prescription
Pill and Drug Disposal, to focus on reducing the impact of unused or unwanted
pharmaceuticals in the world while working to spread awareness about
prescription drug abuse.”
The organization has held drug collection events, purchased
24/7 drug drop-off boxes and mentored teens and adults with their
programs. WIP2D2 has helped collect over
600,000 pounds of drugs that are now out of the hands of young children and
teens, she says.
Jordyn has been recognized for the impact she’s made through
WIP2D2. She was named a National Honoree
at the Prudential Spirit of Community awards, a yearly program that recognizes
middle level and high school students for outstanding community service. Being recognized as a National Honoree makes
her one of America’s Top 10 Youth Volunteers for 2012. She also served as a torchbearer in this
year’s summer Olympics in London.
Hearing “no” daily
While Jordyn’s program is well underway now, her journey was
tough in the beginning. “When I first
started my project, I was told ‘no’ on a daily basis, usually several times a
day,” she says. She contacted multiple
governmental agencies, and none of them wanted to help with her project. “They
all said that since I was a 14-year-old girl, there was no way that I could
have a successful project.” But Jordyn knew her cause mattered, so she kept fighting. “I kept my head up and pushed harder until
someone told me ‘yes.’ From there, no
one could stop me.”
Wanna make a big impact like Jordyn? “Just dive right in. Whether you want to help animals,
underprivileged children, senior citizens, or the environment, you need to
start small. Volunteer at a humane
shelter, plant a tree, raise money so girls in Africa can get an education. . .
whatever you want, just do it! Small
things eventually lead to big things,” she says.
If you want to help your community with safe medication
disposal, Jordyn suggest setting up a drug disposal site and educating your
friends and family about the issue.
For more information on the Prudential Spirit of Community
Awards and how to apply, click here
BY MARIE HANSEN ON 9/12/2012 8:53:00 PM
POSTED IN Get Inspired, do gooder