The Blackstone Valley Tribune
Since the beginning of the school year Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has been on a mission, presenting his Face2Face drug and alcohol prevention and education program twice a week to middle school and high school students from across the region.
The sheriff, in his commitment to personally bring his powerful and effective Face2Face message to every school district in his jurisdiction, has already met with more than 10,000 school kids from every corner of Worcester County.
On Monday, April 9, he paid a very special visit to Northbridge High School to have a Face2Face meeting with more than 600 students in the ninth and tenth grades to discuss the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
The Face2Face program is an ongoing part of the Sheriff’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Initiative for Worcester County Schools. The Sheriff’s Face2Face system uses cutting edge technology and special computer software to simulate the shocking effects substance abuse can have on a person’s appearance over time, students at Northbridge High School were able to see firsthand the potential devastating impact drug use can have on their very own classmates.
“As sheriff I always enjoy spending time in Northbridge, I especially enjoyed meeting students at Northbridge High School today to discuss the enormous consequences and devastating effects of substance abuse.” Evangelidis said. “With almost 90 percent of the inmates today at the Worcester County House of Correction addicted to drugs or alcohol, I have focused on education and prevention as the best way to keep our youth from starting on that direct path to prison. As the only Sheriff in the country presenting this program, it is extremely important for me to personally bring the Face2Face message to every middle school and high school throughout Worcester County.”
“We truly appreciate Sheriff Evangelidis coming to Northbridge High School to present the Face2Face dug prevention program. Today’s presentation was extremely well received and the feedback by both our faculty and students has been tremendous. Sheriff Evangelidis easily engaged the students with hi upbeat personality and kept their undivided attention with his use of sports icons, real life testimonials, and interesting videos. By far, the sheriff’s presentation was one of the best assemblies we have had at Northbridge High School, we look forward to having him back next year with the Face2Face program,” said Northbridge High School Counselor Jennifer Balestracci.
The Face2Face Program was donated by individuals and businesses who are dedicated to the County’s youth. In the past few months Evangelidis has personally presented Face2Face to middle and high school students in Worcester, Leominster, Clinton, Leicester, Spencer, Southbridge, Millbury, Gardner, Grafton, Auburn, Charlton, Oxford, Athol, North Brookfield, Holden, Paxton, and Sutton. School administrators have given the Sheriff’s Face2Face Program high marks as well, including David Prouty High School Principal Robert O’Brien.
“In more than 20 years of being an educator, Sheriff Evangelidis was by far the most effective speaker in spreading the word od the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Both students and parents made a point of thanking me for making this program available at our school. I hope other schools take advantage of this opportunity,” O’Brien said.