We are excited to report that we have successfully launched our Shattering The Myths 2.0 Program in Columbia County, Hudson Valley, NY, with funding from The Rip Van Winkle Foundation. We will be engaging over 1,300 high school students from Germantown Central High School, Taconic Hills Central High School, and Ichabod Crane Central High School.
“Shattering The Myths is a great opportunity to bring such an important topic, such as substance abuse, to the forefront in our communities.” — Dr. Neil L. Howard, Jr. Superintendent Taconic Hills Central School District.
Our Shattering The Myths begins with an interactive 3-day program and then continues for an entire academic year with peer-to-peer driven activities to promote healthy living free of drugs. The first day focused on writing workshops in English and Creative Writing classes. During these workshops, students wrote poetry and shared their stories around substance abuse with their peers. Thus far nearly 400 students have participated in these workshops throughout Columbia County. The enthusiasm and interest within the student body was infectious, creating excited anticipation for the second day of programming.“The students were deeply involved, enthusiastic, and responsive to the innovative programming,” shared Daniel Farley, Assistant Principal, Ichabod Crane High School. The STM Rally is held on the second day, which now has two new interactive components – The Game Show and Media Vs. Myths. The game show was a huge success and an engaging interactive way to provide sensitive information to the audience. The Media Vs. Myths segment utilizes the tools that perpetuate the glorified myths about drug and alcohol abuse in the media, including the reality that exists when the cameras are no longer rolling. Lastly, the most significant and powerful portion of the rally is the finale when students perform their inspiring, personal poems in front of their peers.
“It was very admirable to see my classmates read their deeply personal and amazing poems.” — Germantown High School Student
“The Mentor Foundation USA team did an outstanding job working with and presenting to our students. The professionalism, timeliness, and ability to relate to all students in grades 9-12 was very impressive. The students were buzzing with positive energy for all three days that Mentor Foundation was here.” — Craig Shull, Principal, Ichabod Crane High School
The final day of the program is the implementation of the Youth Ambassador Training. Each school appoints their own Youth Ambassador Network to receive leadership, advocacy, and social media training, along with a comprehensive tool kit to implement Change Projects with their peers. With our support, the Youth Ambassadors create Change Projects to raise awareness around the negative effects of substance abuse, offer positive alternatives, and highlight the inspiring contributions already being made by the students at each school. So far, these ‘Change Projects’ include hosting basketball tournaments, staging a prom car crash to raise awareness, and hosting a Shattering The Myths Week. “The Youth Ambassador Network strives to plant a seed of hope in the heart of one person to change their life for the better.” — Ichabod Crane High School Youth Ambassador.
See some of the media coverage from the recent big happening at Taconic Hills.
“I was amazed with the interactive nature of the programming. The material deeply resonated with not only the students, but also the faculty and staff. The students continue to reflect and discuss their positive experiences with Mentor Foundation USA.” — Mary D’Amico, Asst. Principal, Taconic Hills High School