Atlantic County students take top prizes for PSA’s against underage drinking



A Pleasantville seventh-grader won an Atlantic County contest to get the message out against underage drinking.
Mariha Samapti, a student at Pleasantville Middle School, took first prize in the Join Together Atlantic County contest to make a public service announcement to help the group’s mission “to prevent, reduce and/or delay substance use among youth of Atlantic County in a long-term and sustainable manner.”
The image is of a car crashed into a tree with a beer bottle next to the opened driver’s door and what appears to be someone facedown at the steering wheel.
“I’ll be fine, just give me the keys,” is the quote above.
Below, Samapti warns, “Keep an eye out on your child before this happens.”
Rounding out the top three were two students from Atlantic City’s Texas Avenue School.

Kathy Tran, a sixth-grader, too second place for a picture showing the upset organs inside a body when alcohol is being poured into it.
“Alcohol can hurt your organs,” Tran wrote. “That can make you dizzy, sick or scare or even worse death!”
In third place was eighth-grader Sadia Mihi who included a devil in the form of an alcohol bottle, and a poem:
Twinkle, twinkle little star,
alcohol will leave a scar,
it’s not fun being high,
Don’t Drink! Or you’ll be sure to die…
Twinkle, twinkle little star,
alcohol will leave a scar.
The younger a person starts drinking, the more likely he or she is to have alcohol problems later in life, according to Join Together Atlantic County.
Young teen drinkers are four times more likely to become alcoholics than someone who doesn’t drink until they are 21.
More than 70 percent of those ages 12 to 20 have not had a drink in the past month, according to research JTAC quoted.
Providing alcohol to those younger than 21 is illegal and can result in six months in jail and as much as a $1,000 fine.
The winning submission will be turned into a billboard. Winners also received gift cards to The Walk outlets in Atlantic City.

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