CBS19: OCHS senior named ‘Central Virginian of the Week’


U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger recognized Orange County High School senior Hannah Howard as this week’s “Central Virginian of the Week” on Friday, according to Spanberger’s staff.

Spanberger honored Howard for her work to promote addiction awareness, overdose prevention and mental health resiliency across Orange County.

Howard lost her brother to a fentanyl overdose last year and has been working to strengthen mental health and substance abuse resources in the county.

She focused on working with addicts directly by reducing stigma surrounding addiction and learning more about the recovery process through her governor’s school senior legacy project.

Howard also learned how to administer Narcan, led a Narcan training session in the county and gave talks focused on Narcan administration.

Spanberger’s remarks from the speech:

I rise today in recognition of the perseverance, strength, and compassion of my constituent Hannah Howard.

Hannah is a Gordonsville resident, Orange County High School senior, and Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School student. On May 8, 2019, Hannah lost her older brother, Devon, to a heroin overdose.

In the nine months since Devon’s death, Hannah has shown tremendous courage by studying addiction and educating her peers. As part of her senior project, Hannah interned at a rehabilitation facility where she learned about the recovery process and engaged with patients to understand substance use disorders. Following her internship, Hannah not only became certified to administer Narcan herself, but she led her first Narcan Certification course to members of the Orange County Youth Council and plans to hold additional trainings in the future.

I admire Hannah’s empathy and determination.  Through unimaginable loss, she has created a framework within the Orange community to prevent tragedies like the one she and her family have faced.

Madam Speaker, please join me in thanking Hannah for her selflessness and her service to Virginia’s Seventh District.

The “Central Virginian of the Week” series began last week by honoring Powhatan veteran firefighter Michael Lecik.

“‘Central Virginian of the Week’ is an opportunity to highlight the incredible personal stories of our neighbors across Central Virginia. By amplifying uplifting stories like Hannah’s, I hope we can honor the work of our neighbors and inspire others to give back to our communities across the Seventh District,” Spanberger told CBS19.

Spanberger is a Democrat serving Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

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