Sikeston D.A.R.E. officer living her dream by making a positive difference
SIKESTON - Lorya Knox is living her dream, and her dream is helping others avoid a nightmare.
Born and raised in Sikeston, Knox graduated from Sikeston High School in 1984.
"I wanted a job where I could make a positive difference," said Knox.
As the D.A.R.E. officer for DPS since 2001, Knox found her niche.
"Becoming the D.A.R.E. officer requires some additional training, and being tested by submitting an actual D.A.R.E. lesson plan to a panel of judges," added Knox. "My oral lesson plan was actually submitted on Sept. 11, 2001. The judges gave me the option of waiting because of the terrible news coming to light that day, but I wanted to go ahead and present my lesson plan."
"Everyone is marked by 9/11 in some way, or at least we know exactly what we were doing when those horrific events unfolded."
"The fact that I was getting certified to be a D.A.R.E. officer on that date is significant to me, and puts added importance on my mission," said Knox.
Lorya Knox mission is to guide our young people to a life free of drugs.
Knox works with kids in the Sikeston Public School system from grades 1 - 5, and with the St Francis Kindergarten children, educating them on the damage of drug use.
Knox has a D.A.R.E. classroom in the 5th and 6th grade center where she performs a D.A.R.E. curriculum to 5th grade students.
"Drug abuse touches so many families and it has a devastating effect on families," said Knox.
"So many promising lives and dreams get destroyed by drug use," added Knox.
The D.A.R.E. program tries to help build these young minds to avoid drugs in every possible way.
"No problem is solved by using a drug, and no friendship is worth using a drug," said Knox.
The D.A.R.E. vehicle which Knox uses to patrol was recently honored at the Missouri D.A.R.E. conference. The vehicle placed first in the Daily Driver Category.
"Carnell's in Sikeston is responsible for its creative design and paint job and the cool skull speaker system which is always a hit with the kids," said Knox.
Knox said that DPS was pleased to have the D.A.R.E. car honored at the state D.A.R.E. conference.