5 Questions with John A. Holmes High School THP Project Purple Club, Edenton, NC
1.) How long have you been “Purple?”
JAHHS has been purple since 2014 when Aylin Duruman, a former student, started the club. Many of the current members joined in 2015-2016 and worked hard to bring Chris Herren to speak to our students and community. Membership grew over 100% after the Chris Herren event in February 2017.
2.) What activities are you doing this year that you’re most excited about?
This year the THP PP club organized a “Purple Out Night,” at a home football game with purple fireworks and purple bandannas to promote the club. At the football game the band wore purple shirts to support the club. Immediately following the game, the club hosted a “Purple Out Dance,” to celebrate the fact that kids can have fun without drugs and alcohol. Both events were very successful. The students also recently introduced THP Project Purple to a local middle school where high school students helped with getting the club started. Additionally, club members worked on representation in the local Christmas parade in December.
3.) What advice do you have for other schools looking for ideas to bring to their school and communities?
When the students decided they would like to bring Chris Herren to Edenton they were met with resistance because of funds they would need to raise. They did not allow the skeptics who did not think they could reach their fundraising goal to stop them. The club members were able to raise all the funds needed with community outreach, local club presentations, and small community fundraisers such as a soccer clinic put on by the soccer players in the club. So as the students said, “Do it!” Ideas are easy to find once students come together.
4.) How has THP Project Purple Initiative changed your school and community?
The most significant change the students have seen is that people are talking more openly about the issue of drug and alcohol abuse. The education and inspiration that Chris Herren brought to the students and community of Edenton were extremely impactful. Education is an important part of helping students to navigate the stresses of high school without turning to drugs/alcohol. As parents and club volunteers, Anne and I think the message of the mission statement and beliefs are amazing and should be a large focus of promoting the club ideas.
5.) Favorite piece of gear?
The “Game Changer” shirts and purple bandannas!