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GRACE VLAUN

D.A.R.E. America Youth Advocacy Board Member from Connecticut

I am an active member in my community. I have been elected as the President of my class, the class of 2021, for the past two years. In order to develop my skills as President, I have attended several leadership conferences. Recently, I was selected to be a member of Peers Reaching Out: a club at my school where members run school events and help new students and their families transition into the High School. In addition to volunteering at my school, I also help at my church often. Every year I volunteer at a summer camp called Vacation Bible School, in which I help to teach students children about the gospel. Additionally, I volunteer at other church functions such as the annual Apple Festival our church holds. My sisters and I also coordinate Operation Christmas Child for our church: a program run by Samaritan’s Purse where we collect shoeboxes filled with toys, daily essentials, and bible stories to send to children in developing countries. I have been participating in Operation Christmas Child since I was very young and it is a pleasure to coordinate the program at our church.

Doing well in school is a priority for me. I am planning to take as many AP classes as I can in order to be accepted into a Honors program when I attend college. In addition to focusing time on academics, I am also on the varsity swim team at my school and plan on swimming in college. During my off-season, I continue to swim competitively for a club team that I have been swimming for since I was seven years old. Swimming has helped to teach me the importance of respecting your body and carries over to my beliefs of living a healthy lifestyle. Other activities that I enjoy include surfing, skiing, and paddleboarding.

Through my experience as a leader and an athlete, I have learned about the importance of staying drug and alcohol free. Connecticut has fallen victim to the opioid crisis, so I intend to use my opportunity as a YAB member to spread my beliefs against the abuse of drugs.