We were honored to have former NBA player, Chris Herren, present a school-wide assembly to all APHS students this morning, Wednesday, May 18. This program was provided to our students with the generous support of our partners at the Averill Park Education Foundation, NOpiates Committee, and the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department.
Chris Herren presents to students nationwide about the importance of good decision-making, particularly with regards to the use of substances, such as opioids. Since 2009, Chris Herren has spoken to over 1 million students and community members, sparking honest discussions on the topics of substance use disorder and wellness. A person in long-term recovery, Chris continues to share his story nationally with a renewed focus on prevention education and challenging audiences to rethink how we look at the disease of addiction.
Students may have questions or want to talk about how they felt hearing Chris’s story. We had counselors available during the school day to debrief with students as needed but know that the role of parent/caregiver is the most critical for students and shapes a student view and choices regarding substance use. The following questions can help facilitate the discussion about today’s presentation by Mr. Herren:
- What was the presentation about/what stood out to you?
- What does pressure feel like? What ways do you handle pressure?
- What are some ways to help a friend who is struggling?
Following the presentation any students wishing to reach out to Chris and the student outreach team can visit herrenproject.org/student-resources or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important that students turn to trusted adults within the school community to disclose to, as Chris is not a licensed professional to handle disclosures. Any e-mails from students that require immediate follow-up will be referred to the School Principal.
To learn more about Chris Herren and The Herren Project visit: https://herrentalks.com/
Information about substance abuse prevention and intervention services can be found through these national and local providers:
- NOPIATES: https://www.nopiates.com/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://nida.nih.gov/ and https://teens.drugabuse.gov/
- NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports: https://oasas.ny.gov/prevention
- Rensselaer County Heroin Coalition: https://www.rensco.com/326/Rensselaer-County-Heroin-Coalition
Dr. James Franchini, Superintendent
Heath Quiles, Principal
Rebecca Leach, Assistant Principal
Christina Mein, Assistant Principal
Kimberly Favro, Student Assistance Counselor/SADD Advisor