In May, The Drug Awareness Committee of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) Allegheny Lodge 339 will bring Ray Lozano, a nationally recognized drug and alcohol prevention specialist to Perry High. Lozano’s speech will be part of a three-day tour.

By Mark Thomas

Last December, The Drug Awareness Committee of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) Allegheny Lodge 339 scheduled one of its largest efforts in Pittsburgh to educate youth on avoiding addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Lodge brought nationally recognized Drug and Alcohol Prevention Specialist Ray Lozano to Pittsburgh for a two-day tour on December 13 and 14. Ray did one middle school program and four high school programs reaching 1,645 students in the Pittsburgh area. This was the first time in the committee’s 32-year history that they were able to bring a speaker into the Pittsburgh Public School District. This tour was made possible by a grant from the Elks National Foundation.

Lozano primarily spoke to ninth and tenth graders during his visit. His presentations immediately caught the interest of the students in the audience and he was able to hold their attention throughout his 45-minute program. Teachers and administrators who saw the student’s reactions asked if Ray could come back to Pittsburgh in 2019 to speak to the junior and senior classes before their prom period.

Fortunately for Allegheny Lodge 339, Lozano will be returning to Pittsburgh May 20 to 22, and in a three-day tour, will present as many as nine programs, including one at Perry High School in Observatory Hill. His last tour was met with such enthusiasm that there are already commitments on six of the nine slots in the schedule.

The Drug Awareness Committee, in cooperation with the Northside Leadership Conference’s AGH Northside Partnership, obtained funding for this tour from the
Allegheny General Hospital Auxiliary.

The Drug Awareness Committee of BPOE Allegheny Lodge 339 is excited to bring Lozano back to Pittsburgh and further its mission to educate Pittsburgh’s youth about the dangers of drug and alcohol addiction.