Natasha LaVogue of Pacifica is a senior at Terra Nova High School in San Francisco who transformed her own life and became a leader for her peers. As a sophomore, Natasha was referred to a school support group by teachers concerned that drug use and school delinquency would lead to a troubled future. Instead, Natasha engaged in the work of the school’s Stay Safe Youth Coalition and became a leader in the war on teen smoking and substance abuse. She helped conduct a survey of 1,000 teens about their habits and access to alcohol, tobacco and other drug use and presented the findings at a press conference with community leaders. She also testified about drug use in a Sacramento legislative hearing. Natasha helped create the Partnership for a Safe and Healthy Pacifica, an effect born out of the tragic deaths of two teens that resulted from drinking and driving. The partnership sponsors alcohol-free Teen Nights and honors local merchants who prevent teen access to alcohol. During her high school years, Natasha has won the respect not only of her peers, but also of the adults who have watched her grow and prosper against the most difficult odds. With strength and resilience, she has emerged a leader for our community, with great promise for a bright future.