May 26, 2021

‘Keeping It Safe Coalition’ Announces Student Video Contest Winners and Recipients of Community Service Awards

Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) and the Montgomery County Police Department have announced the high school and middle school winners of the 2020-21 “Keeping it Safe Coalition” (KIS) student video contest. The annual contest encourages teams from Montgomery County public and private schools to create 30-second public service announcements to educate young people about the risks of under 21 alcohol use.

The winning entries receive cash prizes for their affiliated school. In this year’s contest, 57 videos were submitted from 22 schools.

The first-place winner in the high school contest was Springbrook of Silver Spring, represented by students James Diaz and Gabriel Diaz. The first-place winner in the middle school contest was Julius West of Rockville, represented by students Jason Yu and Chris Min.

“This contest provides students with the opportunity to learn about the dangers of under 21 alcohol use by creating a public service message that is relatable to their peers,” said Gabriela Monzon-Reynolds, who manages the KIS coalition as the ABS community outreach manager.

Winning school groups were announced through a virtual awards ceremony. The winning videos can be viewed from the ABS website.

The 2020-21 high school award winners:
  • First Place: Springbrook High School. Students James Diaz and Gabriel Diaz. Will receive a $1,000 prize.
  • Second Place: Winston Churchill High School. Students Ida Chen, Allison Fan, and Kaitlyn Li. School sponsor Debra Feldman. Will receive a $500 prize.
  • Third Place: Winston Churchill High School. Student Mariana Uribe. Will receive a $250 prize.
The 2020-21 middle school award winners:
  • First Place: Julius West Middle School. Students Jason Yu and Chris Min. Will receive a $500 prize.
  • Second Place: Eastern Middle School. Students Asher Anantham and Eric Stewart. School sponsor Warren Scheib III. Will receive a $300 prize.
  • Third Place: Neelsville Middle School. Student Simona Thomas. Will receive a $200 prize.
The KIS Coalition also presented Community Service Awards to Montgomery County Assistant Police Chief Thomas Didone and ABS Director Kathie Durbin for their long-standing commitment to under 21 alcohol prevention.

“Public safety is a top priority for ABS, and we are a long-time supporter of this program,” said Director Durbin. “These student-created peer to peer messages work to encourage young people to make healthy decisions.”

Founded in 1992, the Keeping It Safe Coalition is an alliance of County departments, local organizations and concerned residents that works to deter underage alcohol access and use. The student video contest was funded by the County Department of Police’s Traffic Division and the County Police Foundation.

Through robust alcohol licensing, compliance and training programs, the Division of Licensing, Regulation and Education within ABS ensures the responsible sale and service of alcohol. It has been an active supporter of KIS for decades.

ABS is the alcohol wholesaler of beer, wine and spirits for Montgomery County. ABS operates 25 beer, wine and spirits stores and one spirits-only store in Poolesville. It manages alcohol licensing, enforcement, and education for more than 1,000 businesses. Generating more than $35 million in net income annually, ABS profits are used to pay down County debt with a large portion deposited in the County general fund to pay for resident services that would otherwise be funded by County tax dollars.