2021 Volunteer Award: Pooja Reddy

PreventEd is honored to present the 2021 Volunteer Award to Pooja Reddy in appreciation of time, resources, and contributions dedicated to reducing and preventing the harms of alcohol and other drugs.

Pooja Reddy is a high school junior at Lafayette High School in the Rockwood School District. This past year she has been working on a Naloxbox project, an initiative created to take action against the ongoing opioid crisis in St. Louis County. NaloxBoxes are opioid emergency boxes that provide access to lifesaving naloxone in overdose situations.

The purpose of these boxes is to improve public access to overdose response tools, usher anonymity to individuals in need during an opioid overdose, reduce the stigma associated with opioid and substance use disorder, and provide the crucial time necessary to seek medical attention. Reddy has been working alongside PreventEd and the St. Louis County Public Health Department to place these boxes in high risk locations around the St. Louis County area.

She serves as vice president of her student body, where she has organized and led several service projects including a school-wide toy drive for the children at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. She also serves as a volunteer at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House and as an English tutor for New Creation International teaching students living in India. She aspires to continue targeting the opioid crisis in her community by advocating for support and education among youth, pushing for legislation in support of a prescription drug monitoring program, and increasing resources for those with SUD.