Sofia Ferreiro is a high school senior in Levittown, New York. She has played an active role in her community to help prevent drug misuse. Beginning in 2018, she worked with the Levittown Community Action Coalition as a way to help her community and explore the field of prevention. During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she collaborated with her peers and the Levittown Community Action Coalition to create Levittown Young Organizers United to Help, more affectionately known as LYOUTH. She, alongside 70+ youth members, led focus groups with other young adults to discuss issues in Levittown, spoke at numerous town hall meetings, and created sticker shock campaigns to warn adults about the dangers of providing alcohol to minors. Since becoming the President of LYOUTH this year, she has spoken out on mental health and its influence on drug misuse and substance use disorders and has begun a PSA campaign to spread the message of no drugs. She is truly passionate about her work in prevention as she knows first-hand the adverse effects substance misuse has on a person. Her grandmother, Patricia Marzigliano, struggled with alcohol and tobacco use throughout Sofia’s childhood. She watched how difficult it was for her grandmother as well as the rest of the family. Despite celebrating nearly 10 years of sobriety, the affects her tobacco use lead to her passing in November of 2021 from lung cancer. In honor of her grandmother, Sofia aims to aid those suffering as well as prevent others from starting to use said substances. She is honored to be featured in this year’s Drug-Free Kids Campaign as one of their 2022 Youth Honorees and is looking forward to her future in prevention.
Jaleyna Lawes is a freshman at Yale University and a member of CADCA’s National Youth Advisory Council. She is passionate about examining the role of equity and social determinants of health in promoting drug-free communities and expanding access to resources in underserved populations. At CADCA events such as Mid-Year and Forum, she has presented on the importance of cultural humility in prevention, as well as given a call to action to a CDC representative on the need for equity, not just in our communities, but in the way we advocate for them. Having served as the President of the Broward Youth Coalition (BYC) at United Way of Broward County, Jaleyna seeks to mitigate the effects of adverse environmental factors through positive alternative outlets and community building. Through her coalition’s participation in the Catch My Breath campaign, she worked to counteract the targeted marketing of electronic cigarettes to youth by increasing awareness around the dangers of the vaping epidemic. She also seeks to promote youth empowerment and advocacy through trainings, workshops, and forums, such as the Youth Leadership Institute and Youth United Summit.
Jaylena currently serves as President of her school’s Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders chapter, which aims to expand educational access and community engagement among underrepresented students through peer-to-peer mentorship