The public awareness competition asked students from South Dakota universities to submit a marketing campaign to counteract the rising use of methamphetamines.

"I learned a lot about the creative process through this project," said Westphal. "But most importantly, I learned how destructive meth abuse is to entire families and communities."

Westphal placed first in her region before winning the overall contest with a script and storyboard detailing the dangers of methamphetamine use.

"Haley has created a fresh and innovative message to educate the public and our youth about the dangers of meth," said South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley. "In the upcoming months South Dakota will experience her powerful anti-meth message: 'This wasn't supposed to be my life... meth changed that for me.'"

Westphal was awarded a total of $4,500 in prize money. Chris Timmerman, also a University of South Dakota media and journalism major from Johnston, Iowa, placed second in the regional competition and won $1,500.

"The script shows three people using meth for the first time and where they end up. I hope it serves as a warning of what could happen if they follow down this path," said Westphal.

The second phase of the contest, which runs during the spring semester, is focused on a full social media campaign and concludes on May 1, 2017.

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