TEEN ADVOCATE — Cinthia Santiago-Villanueva, with her sister, Rivka Santiago, has been named as a 2019 Youth Leadership Award winner by the Washington State Health Care Authority. The Sunnyside High School senior is a youth representative for Sunnyside United Unidos and at the high school Prevention Club.

SUNNYSIDE — Efforts to increase the Sunnyside High School Prevention Club membership, while increasing drug awareness helped Cinthia Santiago-Villanueva earn top youth honors at the annual Washington State Prevention Summit held in Yakima on Nov. 5 and 6.

A senior, Santiago-Villanueva, is a National Guard recruit and a former Miss Sunnyside. She has served as a leader in the substance use disorder prevention and mental health promotion for the last three years, announced Brenda Barrios of Sunnyside United Unidos.

“She (Santiago-Villanueva) has become an advocate and speaks on behalf of the issues to key stakeholders in her community at a local, state, and national level,” Barrios explained, adding Santiago-Villanueva has also been active in “Walk Away from Drugs” community walks, handed out prescription lock boxes, and set up for Key Leader events.

“Cinthia is also an active member of the Sunnyside United Unidos Coalition and has committed herself to connecting with the community advocating for drug and alcohol prevention awareness.”

Julia Hart can be reached at 509-837-4500, ext. 123 or at jhart@sunnysidesun.com

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