WACO, Texas (FOX 44/KWKT) Red Ribbon Week is an annual October event with the mission of promoting a drug-free lifestyle for everyone.

“We’ve been doing this many years. We come out to the schools with various law enforcement agencies, and we talk to them [the students] about our various roles in the law enforcement profession. But mainly, we talk to them about making good life choices,” says Officer Sofie Martinez.

Students like Kelsey Balderas at Crestview Elementary interacted with D.E.A. agents, Texas Rangers and officers from both the Waco and Woodway Police Departments.

“Red Ribbon Week is important to me because it celebrates drug-free people,” says Crestview fourth-grader Balderas.

Officer Martinez believes events like this are deeper than what meets the surface.

“Many of these kids, they may live in neighborhoods where all they see when they see police is in a reactive role, or they see them arresting people and doing search warrants and such. In this role, they’re seeing the police officers in a positive light. They’re engaging with them. They’re asking them questions they may have been afraid to ask them beforehand,” says Officer Martinez.

She ultimately declares that community involvement between the youth and police officers helps strengthen their relationships.

As for Baldares, she has an encouraging message for her peers.

“Make good grades, be nice to all other people, and be drug-free,” Baldares said.

For more information on Red Ribbon Week and its history, you can visit here.