LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- “We are here for you,” said Sharise Holland, the 19th Airlift Wing’s Drug Demand Reduction Program manager.
This is the mindset behind the wing’s award-winning DDRP team, who were recently recognized as the Air Force’s recipient of the Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Award for the third consecutive year.
“We are here to be positive role models and help foster a safe and productive environment for our future generations,” Holland said. “We are continuously looking to expand and enhance programs for our communities.”
The award, also known as the Red Ribbon Award, highlights Department of Defense agencies who provide the best outreach and prevention programs within their local communities.
“When we talk about different forms of prevention and different types of ways to counteract drug problems, we’re talking about community outreach and prevention,” Holland said. “Education and deterrence lie at the forefront of how we utilize our assets to create a healthier and safer community.”
This year, the 19th AW’s DDRP received an $84,000 Red Ribbon Campaign contract, which was used to assist 16 local schools with their education and prevention programs.
“We have a fantastic relationship with the community on and off base,” Holland said. “Being able to work with our community partners and open those lines of communication really helps make our goals a reality.”
Holland said her staff sought to develop innovative solutions in order to continue their outreach efforts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. One initiative was switching to a virtual curriculum; providing local schools with educational resources they could adopt and make their own.
“Knowledge is power,” Holland said. “If we aren’t giving our community that knowledge, we aren’t playing our part in preventing and deterring the problem.”
Holland added that she is eager to get back into the community and having those one-on-one interactions to break down barriers.
“My staff and I are truly honored to be recipients of this award for the third year in a row,” Holland said. “I believe more than anything, it speaks most to our community and what they have allowed us to be a part of.”