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Help Needed to Spread the Word Regarding Addiction

Nipmuc High School junior Karlie Jango and senior Korie Gill are on a mission; a mission to spread the word among their peers about the dangers of drug and alcohol addiction. "Everyone knows someone who struggles with drug and alcohol abuse or has struggled with it in the past," said Korie. That is why the two students decided to focus their DECA Public Relations Project on just that topic.

DECA, or Distributive Education Club of America, is a marketing organization for High School Students whose goal is to "prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe." Nipmuc students choose projects under many business categories, and are supervised by DECA Advisor and Business Teacher Gary Perras.

The inspiration for their project came about this summer, when Korie saw the ESPN film Unguarded, the story of former NBA basketball player Chris Herren and his struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol. "I was inspired by his story and thought he would be a good speaker for our school," said Korie. Chris Herren, a basketball legend from Fall River and former NBA star, had realized his dreams of playing for the Celtics in the NBA in 2000, but that dream was shadowed by his addiction to drugs and alcohol. Herren now travels to schools and rehabilitation centers to speak to young people about the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.

Karlie and Korie have worked over the past few months to raise the funds necessary to bring Herren to Nipmuc on January 24 to spread his message about the dangers of addiction. They have promoted their cause locally, seeking donations from local banks and businesses for this "important" cause. The students have also made presentations at various rehabilitation centers trying to garner their financial support. So far the two have been able to raise approximately $900, but it is still short of the $3,000 needed to bring Herren to the school to speak to the entire student body. The two plan to continue to contact local businesses and are hoping to receive additional support from their community.

Karlie and Korie are also quick to point out that their project is not just about bringing in a guest speaker for a one day program. "Our project is about drug and alcohol awareness, this is not just a one-shot deal," said Karlie. They have also collaborated with other groups in the school, such as Peer Leadership and SADD, to keep their message going all year long.

If you would like to make a donation to their cause, please contact the DECA Club at


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