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Teen Challenge Receives Award for Best TV PSA

"Dylan's Story," a moving Public Service Announcement produced by Teen Challenge USA, was recognized at the National Religious Broadcasters convention for its excellence.

Teen Challenge USA, known for it excellence in helping individuals overcome life-controlling addictions, received the 2016 NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) Media Award for Best Television Public Service Announcement (PSA) for “Dylan's Story” on February 26 at Proclaim 16, the NRB International Christian Media Convention held in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Any recognition from an organization that is so widely respected like the NRB is worth noting,” states Dr. Joe Batluck, president and CEO of Teen Challenge USA. “In any given week, we typically run about 4,000 radio PSAs and about 1,300 television PSAs.”

According to an NRB release, the NRB Best Television Public Service Announcement Award is presented to an organization that produces a PSA that is designed to educate and inform the general public about a free public service that is offered by a Christian non-profit organization. The award recipient represents the best in technical quality and creativity, and presents a compelling message about a public service.

Batluck explains Dylan’s story is told through the eyes of his real-life grieving mother, who found out too late her son was a drug addict and discovered him dead in his room. The emotion is palpable; the story hopefully a life-saving opportunity for others. “It’s a story we’re looking to avoid hearing again,” says Batluck, referring to the life-changing impact Teen Challenge has made on countless lives.

In addition to radio and television spots, Batluck says PSAs aimed at youth, such as Dylan’s Story, appear to make the most impact on social media, such as through Facebook and YouTube. The PSAs about teens are also used as part of Teen Challenge’s in-school presentation of the Stay Sharp program, which focuses on educating adolescents on the consequences of their decisions before they start doing drugs, engaging in promiscuous sex, or drinking alcohol.

“It’s not uncommon for us to get calls following the airing or presentation of Dylan’s Story,” Batluck says. “A week ago, I heard from a family who saw the PSA and it encouraged them to have a talk with their teen who was acting suspiciously. The funny thing is, in regard to addiction, family members often make the wrong decision, thinking that being silent will help anything. We pray that Dylan’s Story and other PSAs will help them work through the discomfort of asking questions now rather than having to deal with something much worse in the future.”

Teen Challenge International, USA, a ministry of Assemblies of God U.S. Missions, is a nationwide organization of 248 ministry locations that provide referral and residential ministry to those struggling with drug, alcohol, and other addictions.

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.