Kibler honored for his work with teens abusing alcohol

by: Oregon Partnership, 
Scott Kibler, left, accepts the “Outstanding Youth Champion” award from Judy Cushing, president and CEO of Oregon Partnership.

Lakeridge High School senior Scott Kibler was recently honored by Oregon Partnership for his efforts to prevent underage alcohol and drug abuse.

Kibler was one of three Oregonians to receive a 2007 Prevention Award at the non-profit's annual Red Ribbon Breakfast of Champions held in Portland last week.

'I could not have been more excited,' Kibler said. 'Oregon Partnership has put a lot of great opportunities in front of me. I do … what I can to speak to the community with their help.'

Kibler, 17, was named 'Outstanding Youth Champion' for the two years he spent serving as a volunteer on Oregon Partnership's YouthLine, a teen-to-teen crisis hotline.

'It's an intimate, one-on-one environment and it's great because you're getting to help people individually,' Kibler said. 'That's where someone can make the biggest difference.'

The issue hits close to home for Kibler, a survivor of a collision with a drunken driver. In December 2004, Lake Oswego resident Cory Sause drove her car across the center line on South Shore Boulevard and hit the car Kibler was riding in.

The crash killed his older brother, Patrick Kibler, and left Scott with severe injuries that continue to affect his day-to-day life.

He gets tired easily and has trouble with memory. Although he sat out last year, Kibler plans to play basketball at Lakeridge this winter, despite his setbacks.

'(My story) can hopefully impact people in a positive way,' Scott Kibler said. 'I'll never hesitate to share that with people. It clearly has given me a first-hand look at the actual consequences people's decisions can bring about.'

An active teen advocate against underage drinking, Kibler also offers his time as a designated driver in Lake Oswego and speaks to groups on a regular basis.

He spoke before an Oregon Senate Committee Hearing; for the Governor's Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the Senate; before thousands of high school and university students on the issue of driving under the influence and its consequences; and at Oregon Partnership's Annual Gala with General Barry McCaffrey, former United States Drug Czar.

'Scott is an outstanding leader in his community and is well respected by his peers and adults for his maturity, passion and commitment to ending alcohol and drug abuse,' according to Oregon Partnership.