19 Oct Red Ribbon Week
“Love Yourself. Be Drug Free.” is this year’s theme for Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week was established almost 30 years ago in memory of one man’s work towards drug prevention. Since then, Red Ribbon Week has been recognized nationally as a month for drug prevention and awareness.
Red Ribbon Week is a yearly observance that began as a tribute to Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) officer who was tragically killed in the line of duty in 1985. As a response from parents and youth across the country, they began to wear red ribbons to symbolize their commitment towards drug prevention across America.
The Life of Enrique “Kiki” Camerana
Camerana, originally from Mexico, moved to San Diego when he was 9 years old. When he first moved to America, he worked as a field worker with his family while dreaming of getting an education. Eventually, he was able to enroll in school. Extremely well liked, Camerana was voted “Best All Around Senior”.
Camerana was deeply affected by the drug use of his peers and the problems that it caused in his community, and it drove him to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice. After his degree, he served his country and community as a Marine, fire fighter and police officer.
Eventually, Camerana’s deep commitment to public service and fighting the war on drugs led him to the DEA. The hours were long, the work was hard, but Camerana truly believed “If I am only one person, I can make a difference”.
He excelled at the DEA and eventually went undercover in Mexico to help bring down the drug lords. He was close to finishing his assignment when his real identity was revealed. He was kidnapped, tortured and tragically murdered by the drug lords he was working to bring to justice.
Red Ribbon Week 2014
Enrique “Kiki” Camerana gave his life to get drugs off the street. His commitment and his service are an inspiration to all, and every year from October 23 to October 31, San Diego celebrates the life of this extraordinary man. Red Ribbon Week is a reminder to all of us that recovery is something worth fighting for.
Since then, Red Ribbon Week serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Red Ribbon Week has reached millions of U.S. children and families. The National Family Partnership (NFP) and its network of individuals and organizations continue to deliver his message of hope to millions of people every year, through the National Red Ribbon Campaign.
Enter the National Red Ribbon Photo Contest!
In an effort to promote drug awareness among youth and their families, the NFP is inviting families and their schools to participate in this year’s annual Red Ribbon Photo Contest. 10 winners from across the nation will receive an Ipad and a $1000.00 donation to any k-12 school of their choosing. The donation will go towards drug prevention and awareness programs within that school.
Learn how to enter the contest in this video below.