Westfield Student Raises Awareness of Opioid & Alcohol Abuse
Writer: Matt Keating
Photographer: Amy Payne
With the help of her friends, Ruggles, a senior at Westfield High School, raised more funds than she thought they would.
“We raised about $860,” Ruggles says. “This was almost $400 over our pledge.”
Ruggles’ motivation was a class project from her biomedical class.
“We were actually going to submit a grant to create an opioid awareness education program for all teens across the state, but right before we applied for grants, D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) stated that they were creating a similar program,” Ruggles says. “So my (fundraising) partner, Lauren Zentz, and I decided to make a more local impact, and create this fundraising event for our high school in order to support the 525 foundation (an organization that promotes preventing further opioid and alcohol abuse through outreach, education and support).”
Ruggles is proud of her school for coming together to recognize the importance of this epidemic across America and Indiana.
“I couldn’t be happier that we were able to get donations from all grade levels and teachers, and I am ecstatic that we exceeded our goal amount,” Ruggles says.
Ruggles encourages younger students to get involved in topics or events they are passionate about. She is an inspiration to her classmates and community.
“Opioid awareness is one thing that I believe we really need to focus on in society today, and because of my passion for this problem, I found success,” she says. “It’s never too late to make a change.”
Ruggles’ favorite subject is a four-year biomedical sciences class.
In addition to her regular class load, Ruggles is involved in student government.
“I was a class officer my freshman and sophomore year, and class president my junior and senior year,” Ruggles says. “I am also Vice President of The National Honor Society. I tutor in Spanish, and I have also ran cross country, swam and ran track throughout my high school career as well.”
She loves Westfield and it’s wonderful residents.
“I like that people in Westfield are genuine,” Ruggles says. “We all work together to fight for a cause. We like to see each other succeed, and we push each other to reach our fullest potentials.”
Ruggles says that she “wanted to give a thank you to Becky Savage (a mother who last two of her sons to drug abuse) for telling her story and making students aware of the importance of the opioid and alcohol abuse issue. And I would like to give a thank you to my partner, Lauren Zentz, Westfield High School Vice Principal Alicia Denniston and my teacher, Lauren King, for their help, brainstorming and making this fundraising event a success.”