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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

‘We need to care for each other’

The Awaken Project delivers message of choice to Braves

Inside the Indian Hill High School (IHHS) Auditorium last November, a drum was set in the center of the stage with a giant video wall positioned directly behind it. It wasn’t your typical High School presentation; but, this wasn’t your typical High School class.

“We need to care for each other,” said IHHS Principal Jeff Damadeo. “Braves Nation is a family, and within that is the real need to take care of one another in all areas of our lives. We want our students to understand that we are all in this together.”

Indian Hill High School hosted the Awaken Project Wednesday, November 28, 2018. IHHS Principal Jeff Damadeo speaks to students.
The Awaken Project delivered the powerful presentation on choice; built around a personal story and a passion for music, the two-man team of Joe Richardson and Jeff Mozingo taught students about the effects of heroin and drug use. The non-profit organization based in St. Louis, Missouri, carries a singular message within this unique rock-concert style show: You have the power to say no to drugs, and to help your peers make the same decision.

“The power of choice is one that we own alone, but so often the world around us creates challenges and barriers to making the best choices – this was an event for us to address that directly with our Braves,” said Damadeo. “At Indian Hill High School, we are blessed with the best of the best instructional leaders and mentors for our students; this was an opportunity to reach our Braves with a message beyond academic learning – to create a moment for our Braves to understand that their social and emotional well-being is also a priority to us. We want only the best for our students.”

Indian Hill Schools Foundation member Jennifer Lightcap, who worked closely with the district to bring the Awaken Project to the community, commented, “This program underscores the stark reality that Ohio is second only to West Virginia in overdose deaths nationwide. It is critical that our community and schools do everything possible to educate our kids about the dangers of heroin and empower them to make the right and safe choice.  As a resident I am so proud of the School district for taking this very proactive approach and as a person who has lost a family member to a heroin overdose, I hope that more communities reach out to their children in such a powerful way so that no other families suffer a loss like this.”

Awaken Project presenter Joe Richardson, Jennifer Lightcap, Superintendent Dr. Mark Miles, Jeff Mozingo

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