A junior at Reedsburg Area High School won $5,000 plus the same amount for a favorite charity, for her work combating abuse and improper disposal of prescription drugs.
Jordyn Schara, of North Freedom, started a nonprofit organization to keep prescription drugs out of drinking water and prevent the abuse of drugs by youth—thousands die each year from the problem.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards named Schara one of America’s “Top Ten Youth Volunteers for 2012.”
Schara’s group joined with one started by Illinois teacher Paul Ritter under the national umbrella of P2D2 (Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal Program). The group reports that 1 in 5 teens nationally have abused prescription medication, and that prescription opioid deaths now outnumber those caused by cocaine and heroin combine. Teams in numerous states have joined the effort.
According to the website Volunteer Match, Schara has said many adults and even government agencies told her that as a teenager, she would not be able to start a successful nonprofit; however, “I am very assertive. I have to be, because many adults don’t listen to teens.”