Brody Hooper with Erin Perkins, who nominated him for the Adirondack Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ Teen of the Year award in May.
A teenager who helped lead what became a statewide movement to ban synthetic marijuana has received several awards for his work.
Brody Hooper, who will be entering his senior year at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School this fall, was honored recently by the Adirondack Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship program and Mountain Lakes Regional EMS Council.
Hooper was nominated for the Adirondack Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ 2012 Teen of the Year Award by his kindergarten teacher Erin Perkins. The award, for teenagers (13 to 19), is based on service to their community through school, church or civic organizations. A panel of five judges reviewed the nominations, with winners announced during their annual banquet on May 24. Hooper, who was honored for his community service and leadership qualities, received a check for $500, which his mother, Karen Hooper, said he was using to help pay his way for a second mission trip to Nicaragua.
Hooper was also selected as the local store recipient in the Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program, which is a $50 prize awarded to those who cause a positive impact on their community.
Hooper was also chosen as the Mountain Lakes Regional EMS Council 2011 EMS Youth Provider of the Year. According to Karen, He was nominated by a peer for his, “relentless dedication to the EMS agency and community and for participation in medical missions and his fight against synthetic marijuana.”
For the past year, Hooper has been going to schools throughout the region along with Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague and Youth Director Michael Mascarenas talking to students about the dangers of synthetic marijuana, also know as K2 or Spice.
The ELCS student originally had created the presentation for the Elizabethtown Community Hospital, where he volunteers and works. The presentation was then used as part of an Bringing Essex County Strengths Together (BEST) committee meeting on the dangers of “fake pot.”
“It was an in-service project on what to do with a K2 patient for the hospital and it has expanded from there,” Hooper said. “I was working on the first case that we saw that we knew was K2 related, and some of the people had never heard of it.”
When the state passed legislation banning synthetic marijuana in the state, Sprague credited Hooper and others who had worked hard to spread awareness on the matter.
“Our small meeting back in February exploded into a movement that has been recognized at the state level and by the federal Attorney General’s office," Sprague said. “There is a lot of credit that has to go to those, like Brody, who have been working consistently from the beginning to get this banned.”
“I was not sure what would come from the meetings and the trips to schools, but I was hoping for something like this to happen,” Hooper said at an April 30 rally. “This is about getting students from all of these different schools together to get a final resolution to this problem.”