The Herren Project is proud to announce the 2015 Go Purple! Scholarship Program Awards

The 2015 Scholarship Awards have been granted to the following students. Congratulations and celebrate your accomplishment – GO PURPLE! Please note, portions of each essay have been omitted due to length.

Grant Award: $1,000

Emma-Clark-85x150Emma Clark
The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands High School

If you would have told me two years ago that I would someday be writing an essay promoting sobriety, you would have received a blank, decently confused stare from me. For most of my teenage years, the thought of becoming (and staying) sober was a foreign concept. After being sent away to residential treatment during my sophomore and junior years, I felt defeated. It never occurred to me that a person like me could attain the peace and serenity of sobriety. Now, with nearly a year and two months of sobriety, I’m proud to say that I proved myself wrong.

Thanks to Project Purple, I became more comfortable with speaking out about sobriety, and took pride in the fact that I was a part of a club that is so powerful and potentially life-changing. As the only senior in our school’s Project Purple club, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to reach out to other students. Additionally, as the only member of our school’s Project Purple who is in recovery, I pushed myself to reach out to many old friends who are currently using drugs/alcohol. By sharing my personal experience, my hope was that others could that sobriety it possible, regardless of how far they may have fallen.

Although my path to recovery began before I knew about Project Purple, the opportunities that I now have through the club to reach other students are so rewarding and its impact on my life is immeasurable. Chris Herren’s story and the message of Project Purple has influenced and inspired me on my journey, both in my recovery and in my life. Project Purple has given me the confidence to speak freely and openly about my recovery without shame, which frees me to spread the good news of sobriety and recovery.

Grant Award: $1,000

CalebCaleb Wheelock
West Winfield, NY
Sauquoit Valley Central School

During my junior year, one of the school guidance counselors approached me about helping to get the Project Purple initiative started in my school district. I don’t believe in the use of drugs or alcohol and have never tried them. As a three sport athlete, class president and now student council president, I am involved in a lot of activities. I thought if my involvement in Project Purple could help other students to see that it’s a great thing to choose not to use or if I could be a role model for a student who wasn’t sure what they wanted to do in high school, I wanted to be a part of it.

We started the Project Purple initiative last year. It has been a great experience to start this in my school. Although we are a small group, we have grown each year. This year, we are part of a Stop DWI baseball game, we took a group of students to hear Chris Herren speak and we are putting on a mock car crash to demonstrate the consequences of drunk/drugged driving. My message is that we may all come from different backgrounds but we all have one thing in common; the right to choose not to use.

Spirit of Purple Grant Award: $500


Annie Livorsi
Westford, MA
Westford Academy

Some people think purple is just a color, but to me purple is having the strength to be yourself. I am the last of five girls. With such a big family I try to be the best qualities in each of my sisters. These qualities include being kind, hard­working, dedicated, and confident. Alcoholism runs in my family, so choosing to be purple is very important. Now as I am going into college I know that I do not need to succumb to the pressure of substance abuse.

I joined Project Purple in my junior year of high school. It was new and to my surprise, a lot of students were a part of the club. It has probably been the best decision I have made in my past four years in high school. The Herren Project and Project Purple group in my school has shown me that you do not need to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol to have fun. I have been a part of the leadership team for Project Purple at Westford Academy for the past year. The club has grown to over two hundred students. And now I am interning for Project Purple to plan a talent show for the whole school system in Westford. I plan to continue promoting sobriety for myself and others.

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