Kim Barton believes Congress should increase funding for teenage drug intervention and education, and she's willing to lobby for her desires.

Kim, a seventh-grader in Wasatch Junior High School, is one of 51 students who will be in Washington, D.C., April 20 to 25 to participate in the RespecTeen National Youth Forum. She is the daughter of Keith and Patricia Barton.In the national capital, the students will have an opportunity to meet with congressmen and promote their objectives.

In her award-winning letter to Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, Kim cited "frightening facts" about drug abuse in Utah: the highest prescription abuse rate in the country; higher use of heroin and inhalants, despite lower use of some other drugs; high percentages of high school students who have experimented with alcohol and drugs; and susceptibility of children in the 10- to 12-year age group to enticement to use drugs. . .

"If we can reach our kids before age 10, perhaps those horrible statistics can be lowered and I know that many kids' lives can be saved and changed for the better."

RespecTeen is sponsored by the Lutheran Brotherhood, a fraternal benefit society.