Trish spent 24 years dedicating her efforts in various roles for adolescents. She taught US History and Sociology for 10 years while coaching Varsity Field Hockey and Freshmen Softball at Missisquoi Valley Union High School, Swanton VT, Passaic Valley Regional High School, Little Falls, NJ and Morris Knolls High School, Rockaway, NJ. After completing her Master’s Degree in Education, the drive became to continue training for substance awareness. Due to witnessing the impact of social, developmental, environmental and emotional impact of substances on children, she became a certified Substance Awareness Coordinator in 2003. Her position as the SAC at Morris Knolls was filled with astounding moments of inspiration and determination to prevent, encourage and support students to engage in fulfilling choices that enhance their life dreams. While engaging in a mentoring program for Grade 9 students, Unguarded was released on ESPN 30 for 30. After viewing it due to a recommendation from a colleague, it became a major focal point for goal setting with the students. The Morris Knolls Teen Leadership Council was a student group that embraced Chris’ story and set THP Project Purple Initiative as its mantra. Having been to Chris’ speaking engagements at Mt. Olive High School on April 24, 2014, and Morris Knolls High School on February 19, 2015 the motivation continued. The Morris Knolls TLC students used their passion by assisting in the Proud to be Purple 5K Color Run on September 27, 2014 in Wharton, spreading the stand up and make a difference message at Health Fairs and submitted the winning THP Project Purple Initiative video for 2016 that brought Chris back to Morris Knolls January 25, 2016. She is blessed with her husband and 3 children as she continues to recover from a brain tumor and find solace for those.
John Hinton teaches Leadership & Ethics, Special Education science, and sponsors Student Council at Highland Park High School in Dallas, TX. In November 2015, John took eight of his Student Council students to hear Chris speak in Dallas at an annual fundraiser. They had no idea about Chris’s story but afterwards, were all in agreement that they had to have Chris come to their school and speak. Chris came in April of 2015 and spoke to the entire student body of 2,000 students. Moved by what they had heard, they joined the THP Project Purple Initiative and this past school year, they continued promoting THP ‘s Project Purple by lighting numerous downtown Dallas buildings purple. They also helped in getting Chris to come and speak at their middle school and that evening with the community of parents. Additionally, they just celebrated Red Ribbon Week this past week and made it purple in the halls, cafeteria, and in the gym for the pep rally and continue to come up with new and exciting ways to spread the mission of this initiative.
Kim is the treasurer of Friends of Clinton Youth & Family Services Bureau (CYFSB), a non-profit organization responsible for bringing Chris Herren to the community and Jared Eliot Middle School and The Morgan School (Clinton, CT’s high school) last fall. Friends of CYFSB, in conjunction with the town’s “Pretty Committee,” placed 496 purple flags in the town of Clinton to help spread the mission of THP Project Purple and to represent each life lost in the state of CT (in 2013) due to a drug overdose. The THP Project Purple Club and team organized an array of activities, which included a week of spirit and “going purple,” and community and school events including presentations by Chris Herren, a THP Project Purple Dodgeball Tournament and a Hot Shot Basketball Tournament. Most recently, Friends of CYFSB helped high school students organize a 5K Healthy Husky Color Run, which helped pay for students attending the Youth to Youth Leadership conference at Bryant University this summer, where drug-free students gather from all over the country gather to develop skills to make positive choices and learn drug prevention strategies. Kim is also involved in numerous other non-profit organizations. For four years she served on the board of Clinton Little League and Clinton Youth Football and Cheerleading. Kim is also a founding member of the Clinton Family Day and Halloween Window Painting committees. She also volunteers her time with the Clinton PTA and Friends of Eliot group, which fundraise and support school programs for Clinton’s youth. Kim lives in Clinton with her husband and three children.
Melanie is a Health & Child Development Teacher at Westford Academy, in Westford, MA. She has worked at Westford Academy for 17 years and teaches three courses (Freshmen Health, Senior Health and an elective course called Child Development). Melanie is the Advisor to both THP’s Project Purple and SADD. She brought Project Purple to Westford Academy in the Fall of 2013 after having Chris speak at the school in the Spring of 2013. Westford’s Project Purple has several active members and more than 300 students who have taken the Purple Pledge. She lives in Litchfield, NH with her husband, Jason, and two children (Jaxson, age 11 and Jynjer, age 9).
Julia Whelan is a senior at Westford Academy. She has been involved in THP Project Purple since freshman year, and is now proud to be the President of the Westford Academy chapter. She first got involved in the club for a number of reasons. After she found out that she had an uncle that she was never able to meet because of a drug overdose, it was clear to her that the use of drugs, especially in high schoolers, is dangerous and unnecessary. In addition, after hearing story after story about deaths and injuries brought on by underage drinking, she recognized that she wanted to try to prevent as many of those tragedies from happening as possible. Together, with the other leaders and members of THP Project Purple in Westford, she hopes to spread the message around school, successfully carrying out fundraising and awareness events, such as a semi-formal dance and mock accident, and further establish a community of acceptance within both THP Project Purple and Westford Academy.
Nicholas Giovino is currently a senior at Westford Academy. He enjoys playing basketball and football, and participating in theater. He got involved in THP Project Purple during freshman year at a club fair because he shared similar beliefs about not drinking and not doing drugs, but more importantly he believed that by not using he was staying true to himself. His future plans are to go to college for Pre-Med.
Jocelyn Anctil is currently a senior at Westford Academy. She became involved in THP Project Purple during freshman year as a way to make friends who share her values, and spread a positive message. She thoroughly enjoys being a part of this club; it has allowed her to grow as a leader and an individual. Along with THP Project Purple she is in the Community Service club and participates in Future Educators of America. In the future, she hopes to go to college and use the skills these clubs have allowed her to develop.
Jennifer has been blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with her four children, Evan, Olivia, Hannah and Hayden. She and her husband, Kirk, have been married 28 years. She has had a lot of involvement throughout the years, volunteering with her children’s school, church and athletic organizations. Her most recent accomplishments are organizing and running a bowling program for children and adults with special needs. In addition, this past spring she helped organize and hold the first Sober Post-Prom Party for the juniors and seniors at Howland High School. Jennifer has always had genuine concern about drug and alcohol use in young adults, not just because she has children, but because she lost her brother in a tragic car accident due to a drunk driver when they were both away at college. During the planning process of the post prom party, she worked with her committee to submit an essay and was awarded the THP Purple and Proud After Prom Grant. This is her first year starting THP Project Purple Initiative in her community and she is extremely excited to be a part of such an important initiative.
Bill Scott is a Dean of Students at Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 2013, Bill, along with fellow teacher Tom Lamondia and a few student leaders, brought the Project Purple Initiative to Putnam Academy and surrounding Springfield high schools. Putnam Project Purple continues to be an important student-lead initiative that promotes wellness and activities in the school and the community, and empowers and educates others about the dangers and consequences associated with drug and alcohol abuse.
Prior to working at Putnam Academy, Bill retired from the Connecticut Department of Correction after having worked for twenty years as a correctional manager and counselor. In addition to being a Dean of Students, Bill has coached youth and high school athletics for thirty-five years. He is a graduate of Springfield College. Bill resides in Longmeadow, MA with his wife Krista. They have two sons William and Patrick.
Bill looks forward to continuing the valuable work of THP Project Purple Initiative with the students of Springfield, MA.
Jake White is a student at UConn studying Human Development and Family Studies. In that department Jake studies how the family works and is currently choosing between focusing more on Early Childhood or the Public Policy program. He is also a Resident Assistant and plays lots of basketball in his free time. Jake was introduced to THP and Chris Herren when he spoke at a recovery center in Massachusetts. When Chris spoke at Jake’s high school, he was inspired to start a Project Purple Initiative club that still meets weekly. Jake has run in two Spartan races at Fenway Park for The Herren Project and is thrilled to be more involved as we move forward.