Delaney O’Sullivan grew up with the D.A.R.E. program.
The Plainfield South High School sophomore started in the program when she was in first grade at Holy Family Catholic School and completed D.A.R.E. 2.0 in seventh grade.
Now O’Sullivan is serving a two-year term as the Illinois state representative on the D.A.R.E. International Youth Advocacy Board. Her term began in April 2019.
Shorewood Police Office and O’Sullivan’s D.A.R.E. teacher Kimberly Giugler recommended her for the board position.
“Delaney is a person who stands firm with that she believes,” Giugler said. “She does not sway like the wind to try to fit into a situation or group.”
O’Sullivan’s board duties include contributing to the D.A.R.E. Instagram account, writing to local lawmakers about D.A.R.E. activities and attending conferences, among others.
The biggest lesson she learned from D.A.R.E. is how to make positive decisions, O’Sullivan said.
“And that isn’t just about using drugs or drinking alcohol, but also thinking things through before you jump into something,” she said in a news release from Plainfied School District 202.
Giugler praised the example O’Sullivan sets for others.
O’Sullivan also will be in the running for a $20,000 college scholarship after her term ends.
D.A.R.E. created the Youth Advocacy Board in 2000. It comprises 50 members and includes one student from each state.
The board’s mission is to help promote D.A.R.E. programs at all levels and advise community leaders on drug and violence prevention strategies.