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THP Project Purple Initiative: Dallas, TX

Highland Park senior Carson Yeager had seen it too many times. Classmates, including athletes, lose their eligibility and potential college scholarships due to drug and alcohol abuse.

“I saw students and athletes with so much potential lose everything,” said Yeager. “I kept seeing the numbers increase.”

The moment Chris Herren came to Highland Park, Yeager saw the opportunity to make a change.

Yeager doesn’t try to hide the fact that when there is a presentation at the school in Dallas, Tx, few students pay attention. The majority of 2,000 students “play with their phones” and completely ignore the speaker.

Not this time. When Chris Herren spoke all eyes focused on the former NBA player who shared his story of his experience using drugs and alcohol and warned against the dangers of substance abuse.

Yeager said the impact was amazing.

“Everyone paid attention. Everyone was talking about it (Herren’s message) for weeks. It was really incredible,” said Yeager.

Yeager knew his role as student council president offered him the opportunity to make a difference and impact change….and continue to keep Herren’s message in the forefront at Highland Park.

“As student council president I knew I could help influence students to make the right decisions. I wanted to go all out and launch the THP Project Purple Initiative and see how far we could take it,” said Yeager.

Yeager took the THP Project Purple Initiative sky high…921 feet to be exact.
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He reached out to the Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the owners of the iconic buildings in Downtown Dallas – including the tallest building (921 feet) Bank of America Building, Reunion Tower, Omni Hotel and One Arts Plaza. He shared the THP Project Purple Initiative and requested that the typical multi-colored buildings turn purple in unison on a Friday night.

All agreed to support the project.

The result? On October 23, 2015 the iconic Dallas skyline turned purple.

“It was amazing. You could see it from all over. Everyone was sharing (video and pictures) through social media,” said Yeager.

The night came to an end and the purple lights became dim, yet Yeager’s passion to make a difference remained bright.

“We want to keep the conversation going,” said Yeager.

The student council then launched a fundraiser and sold more than 100 yard signs supporting the THP Project Purple Initiative. Purple ribbons and balloons currently fill the Highland Park in honor of THP Project Purple Week.

“We are committed to bringing awareness to substance abuse and underage drinking in hopes that future generations will follow suit,” Yeager.

He will graduate in the spring, but will make certain the THP Project Purple remains in the forefront at Highland Park.

“I will make sure my (student council president) successor knowns how important the THP Project Project Purple Initiative is,” said Yeager. “I hope the Dallas skyline is purple every year.”

 

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