Plano West senior Kelsey Jahnke lost her friend Sienna Vaughn to fentanyl poisoning. Now, she is using her Girl Scout Gold Award project to focus on tackling the fentanyl crisis in her community.
Sixteen-year-old Vaughn died from fentanyl poisoning after taking what she thought was a prescription Percocet. Vaughn’s mother found her and a friend unconscious, and both were rushed to the hospital. The friend received medical care and survived, but Vaughn was pronounced dead on Feb. 19, 2023.
Since Vaughn’s passing, Jahnke set out to bring awareness to the fentanyl crisis in order to prevent this from continuing to happen in her community. "It was a calling," Jahnke said. "I had to honor Sienna and hopefully prevent other families from experiencing this immeasurable pain."
At Vaughn's candlelight vigil, Jahnke established an information booth to actively engage the community, providing a platform for volunteers to join and lend their support to the cause. On National Fentanyl Awareness Day, Kelsey covered the walls of Plano West with posters and took part in various fentanyl awareness initiatives, including the Fentanyl Drug Forum organized by the Plano Police Department, Governor Abbott's 'One Pill Kills Summit' in Austin, and the Substance Abuse Panel held at Plano Senior High School.
On Sept. 23, 2023, Jahnke will host A Focus on Fentanyl: Community Fentanyl Awareness event. The event is free to attend — but because of mature content, it is not appropriate for children under age 11. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2401 Legacy Dr, Plano, Texas. Speakers from organizations such as Plano PD Crime Prevention Unit, GraceToChange, Barnes Mobile CPR and LifePath Systems will present during the upcoming event.
Jahnke also intends to partner with her high school's counseling department to coordinate activities during Red Ribbon Week in Oct., and campaign during the next National Fentanyl Awareness Day.
To learn more about Jahnke’s initiative visit gsnetx.org.