Young People at Green Hill School Win National Anti-Fentanyl Video Challenge

May 21, 2024

Six young people at Green Hill School (GHS) won a nationwide anti-fentanyl contest hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as part of an effort to prevent drug overdose deaths.

“Dark Roads,” the music video produced by young people at GHS, was among 200 videos submitted to the Fentanyl Awareness Youth Challenge. Six videos from across the nation were selected as winners, each receiving a $5,000 prize to share among the youth who produced them. The challenge was open to teens across the country ages 14 to 18. GHS was the only winner that included youth from a juvenile rehabilitation facility.  

“I feel this win from my perspective is a win for not only me, but all the youth at Green Hill,” said Conner, one of the recipients who had struggled with addiction since the age of 12. "It’s a voice for youth who are struggling with addiction and a voice from a group of people who they can relate to. I wish I had a voice like this when I was younger."

With assistance from GHS staff and folks from The Bridge Music Project, Blake, Conner, Diante, Justin, Ron, and TJ, spent six weeks writing, producing, and creating their video focused on fentanyl awareness. Throughout the video, they show a glimpse into their lives at GHS and the reality of fentanyl.

Many of the young people expressed that through the process of creating this video, they were able to process their grief of loved ones they lost to addiction, create friendships with those they wouldn't otherwise interact with, and have a new support system put in place.

“What an incredible accomplishment and talent our young men have,” said Felice Upton, DCYF’s Assistant Secretary of Juvenile Rehabilitation. “These young people took the opportunity during a national opioid crisis to share experience and information to help others.”

Earlier this year, the youth premiered the video to their peers and award-winning rapper Macklemore at GHS.

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families oversees Green Hill School, a medium/maximum security fenced facility that provides education and vocational training to older males sentenced to Juvenile Rehabilitation treatment.