SARASOTA – A 14-year-old girl on the Suncoast is using her title to make a difference in the community.
Madeline Boehm became Miss Florida Jr. High 2018 in November. This 8th grader at Pine View says as a teen ambassador, she’s using her title as a voice to make positive changes.
“There are only two schools left with the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, so I really feel there’s a big need for someone to say drugs or bad,” said Boehm.
She received a Disney grant allowing her to share her passion of healthy living. Bohem talked to 70 kids from the Girls and Boys Club about cyber-bulling peer pressure and drugs.
“You can get in trouble for a lot of drugs and drinking, if you carry a bag that has alcohol in it, you can get arrested even if you’re not drinking it,” said 11-year-old, Maisey Tulla.
Facing a national opioid epidemic, children are at a higher risk. Boehm says she’s fortunate to have never come in contact with drugs but says that’s not the case for everyone.
“So some kids will be introduced to it earlier than others so the earlier I get the more aware they will be when they get older. I might need to go younger because they are already introduced to this stuff. It’s kinda scary thinking about how they are introduced to it when they are 6, 7, and 8 years old,” said Bohem.
“You shouldn’t take drugs because if you don’t learn that you don’t know the consequences that can happen,” said nine-year-old Sara Demlak.
Bohem is going on to represent Florida at the National competition in Arkansas this June.