LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - "When you look at me, what do you see? A drug-free me."
That's the message at Oak Park Elementary where students kicked off Red Ribbon Week Friday morning in Laurel.
Continental Societies Inc. hosted the event at the Oak Park Outdoor Classroom Garden. The non-profit has celebrated Red Ribbon Week for over 20 years.
"If we can teach the kids to be drug-free and there's more to life than using drugs, then their lives would be better," said Don Cella Milton with Continental Societies Inc.
Judge Carlton Reeves, Federal Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, spoke to students on the importance of being aware of drugs in the community and the impact they could have on their lives.
"Every generation has a drug problem," said Milton. "For some reason, this generation is inundated with drugs. So we are trying to make sure they have an opportunity to have a great life."
The event also included motivational speeches from Drug Enforcement Administration Agents, a representative with the Boy Scouts and Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge.
Red Ribbon Week is the nation's oldest and largest drug prevention program. It started after the death of DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who in 1985 was brutally tortured and murdered by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico.
National Red Ribbon Week officially begins on goes from Monday, October 23rd.