Drug prevention races into the Monadnock community this semester in hopes to decrease substance abuse in Keene, N.H. Keene State College senior Angela Stebbins said she has been working on prevention against drugs in Winchester, N.H. since 2009 and has hopes to bring an aspect of this to the campus. Stebbins began teaching as a uniformed guardsman in schools with a prevention program and wanted to bring this program to the Monadnock region.
“I saw when I came here the social norms and the attitudes with the kids and drinking were almost favorable, if not favorable to the kids,” she continued, “We were able to bring it here but what happened right after we were able to do that is federal budget cuts.”
This triggered Stebbins’ latest project.
“That’s when I again could still see that there was some light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. From there, Stebbins formed her idea of the Race Against Drugs (RAD) program which she has since started at the Winchester Middle School. Stebbins said that she’s taking the Stay On Track curriculum and tying it into the community and in particular to the racetracks due to the Monadnock region’s love for racing.
“I think KSC would have a lot of ideas to contribute to RAD and make it a bigger program involving other middle schools in the area,” KSC Sophomore and RAD volunteer Lindsey Tatro said. Stebbins said she has created the first ever Race Against Drugs program “We’re already being looked at throughout the country as the next big thing in drug prevention,” Stebbins said. She previously worked for the Air National Guard in the Counter Drug Task Force where her role was in Drug Demand Reduction. From this she said she was sent to do training in prevention. Stebbins said the Air National Guard placed her in New Hampshire at the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services where she proceeded to get more training in prevention.“That coupled with the military training really is what sparked the passion and the desire to do this type of work,” she explained.
Tatro said the lessons compare what they’re learning about race cars to their own bodies.
“We compare having to put the right fuel, gasses, oils into a race car for it to function correctly in relation to a person’s body, putting healthy things into your body to make it function to its full ability,” Tatro said.
Stebbins and her husband Michael are opening up their business to teach the kids how to build a race car. “We’re hoping to have one of them race it at the track,” Michael said. Stebbins said other businesses are giving back to the community too. Stebbins said the Monadnock Speedway is teaching the kids to drive a race car and they will know how to race by age 12. TD Bank will teach business banking classes, which will show kids how to budget their money and how to balance a checkbook, Stebbins explained.
Liberty Mutual sales representative Lisa Steadman said that they’re teaching safety classes to Winchester students. Steadman said that she worked with Stebbins on an event at the Winchester Speedway educating kids about the consequences of drunk driving. “She’s been really involved in helping students to lead more healthy lives and to make good choices, she puts a lot of her time and effort into things like that through programs throughout Winchester. So that’s what it’s all about, how can we take a drug prevention program and make it part of a whole community,” Stebbins said.
“After seeing all the hard work she is producing for this program it has made me realize that just one person can make a difference,” Tatro said. Stebbins added,“We definitely need all the help we can get to get this off the ground.”
Megan Grenier can be contacted at