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RCCC students use creativity to raise awareness for gambling addiction

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

SALISBURY — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College students recently won a local and statewide marketing and design competition to increase awareness about gambling addiction.

Thanks to a N.C. Problem Gambling Program grant from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, students were able to win cash prizes at the state and local level for their marketing and design work.

The college’s local winners went on to compete statewide, and the graphic design students winning first place for a T-shirt design.

The competition was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Service. To participate, the college was awarded an N.C. Problem Gambling Program grant of $5,000.

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and the college is building awareness on campus by having a contest for marketing and graphic design students, funded by the  Problem Gambling Program.

The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that 1 percent of U.S. adults meet the criteria for pathological gambling and another 2 to 3 percent are considered problem gamblers.

Additionally, research has shown that teenagers and college-age adults are more impulsive and at a higher risk for developing gambling disorders than adults. Studies indicate that 6 percent of college students in the U.S. have a serious gambling problem.

Two groups of students, graphic design and marketing, competed separately for a combined campaign. Graphic design students created a promotional image to be used in the 2018 Problem Gambling Awareness Month campaign. The marketing students developed a plan to relay the problem gambling message to students.

First-place winners on the marketing team from Rowan-Cabarrus instructor Garland Fulp’s introduction to business class were Tarilyn Lamb-Palo, Ivon Luna, Anna Phillips, Tatiana Robb and Miranda Jordan.

First place also went to graphic design student Adrian Horn of instructor Jahlisa Misenheimer’s graphic design Tech 1 class.

The Rowan-Cabarrus T-shirt designs were also submitted to the N.C. Educational Lottery’s “More Than a Game” campaign. The winning design will be produced and distributed to thousands across the state. Rowan-Cabarrus competed against one other school in the state, and RCCC student Lori Irwin won first place.

“I continue to be amazed by the imagination and creativity of our students,” said college President Carol S. Spalding. “This is a great opportunity for the college to promote an important message to our students and the community and get our students involved in the process.”

Professionals from each industry were on hand to judge the entries. First through fourth place received monetary awards for their work. There were two separate contests, one for marketing and one for graphic design, and each of the winners received $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third and fourth place.

As part of the grant, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will implement elements of the awareness plans.

“We wanted to provide services to people who feel more comfortable communicating via text or online,” said Smith Worth, program administrator for the North Carolina Problem Gambling Program. “Problem gambling is a serious issue in our state, and we are excited to have the technology to reach a broader audience and offer help to more North Carolinians struggling with problem gambling.”

The N.C. Problem Gambling Program was established to provide and support effective problem gambling prevention, education, outreach and treatment.

Support for problem gambling is now only a text or click away, thanks to new technology from the Problem Gambling Program. Problem gamblers and their families can receive help 24 hours a day by texting morethanagamenc to 53342 (text messaging fees may apply).

The N.C. Problem Gambling Helpline, 877-718-5543, has offered round-the-clock services for problem gamblers and their families since 2006. Help is also available by live web chat at www.morethanagamenc.com.

For information about the prevention services, contact Alison Drain at 919-800-8482 or alison.drain@dhhs.nc.gov.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit www.rccc.edu/apply or call 704-216-7222.

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