Congratulations to these students! We applaud the hard work you are doing in your schools and communities to make a difference.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD: $1,000
Jordan Phillips Cape Hatteras Secondary – Hatteras, NC
Two years ago, in the spring of my sophomore year in high school, I began hearing about Going Purple. After hearing about this movement, I decided to do some research to find out more about what Going Purple was all about….I then proceeded to present the idea of starting this group to one of my teachers who agreed that it was needed and would be a wonderful addition to our school. This was a major achievement for me, but I did not want it to stop there.
At the beginning of my senior year, I was determined that our Going Purple club would host an event each quarter at my school. The first event of the year was a dodge ball tournament which had teams of middle school students, high school students, and teachers. This was a resounding success and seemed to embed what Going Purple means into the culture of our school. The second event we hosted was a powder puff football game. Community members came in support and local businesses donated prizes. It was an event that compared with any varsity football game and let our community know about our Going Purple club.
Seeing my peers get so excited is one of the most rewarding feelings I have ever experienced and I believe my part in establishing our Going Purple club is my biggest accomplishment. What is remarkable is that impressing some teenagers with a group that stands against substance abuse is a real struggle. We are planning more events for the future, such as a color run and a two-on-two basketball tournament. I have been inspired by many role models and I hope that others have seen me as an inspiration as well.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD: $1,000
Jacob White Tantasqua Regional High School – Wales, MA
My dad first introduced me to the Herren Project during the summer before my junior year of high school. After Mr. Herren spoke, I asked him how to get involved in Going Purple. I talked with my teachers and requested to start a club at Tantasqua. Over eighty students attended the first meeting. It was astonishing to see the amount of kids that wanted to participate.
Since then, our group has held many events to raise money and spread awareness of what Going Purple means. We have had an UNO’s night in which part of every bill goes to help the Herren Project. We held a similar event at a local ice cream shop after a high school football game. We also placed second in the nation wide video contest for the Herren Project. The biggest fundraiser we have been involved in was the Spartan Race at Fenway Park. The group helped raise over fifteen hundred dollars for the Herren Project. I personally competed in the Spartan Race and had an overwhelmingly amazing experience.
The group also has a positive influence in the school during Step Up Day. This is a day when the eighth graders from the junior high visit the high school to see what it is like. We designated this to be our annual Going Purple Day so the younger kids would see that not all high school students drink and smoke and it is acceptable to stay sober. The junior high students showed a lot of interest in Going Purple so our latest accomplishment is bringing the club across the street to the junior high every other week. The kids love it and are excited for us to keep coming back.
It has only been about a year since I started the Going Purple club at Tantasqua, but it has been the most important thing I have spent my time on in my life.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD: $500
Abigail Cianciolo Westford Academy – Westford, MA
High school is like a ride in the ocean, sometimes smooth sailing, and other times it is rough choppy seas. However, that is what life is all about, learning to sail through the stormy days and delight in the moments of sunshine. As I navigate through life’s waters, I picked up one important piece of equipment that has helped me stay true to who I am, and that is my purple anchor; my vow to be a part of Going Purple.
Going Purple has given me a sense of hope that finishing high school substance free is possible and that I can beat all the statistics against me. Going Purple is my anchor in the storms of high school, and I hope to take my purple sailboat with me and ride against the current as I attempt to start my own Going Purple club at High Point University next year.