Sheriff’s Face2Face program gets high marks from Spencer school

Knox Trail Jr. High School Principal Joyce Nelson, wearing an inmate uniform, is flanked by Spencer Police Chief David Darrin, left, and Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis

SPENCER —  Since the beginning of last school year, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has been on a
mission delivering a sobering message to middle and high school students about the dangers of substance abuse with his regionally recognized Face2Face Program.

With almost 90 percent of today’s inmates behind bars due to addictions to drugs and alcohol, the sheriff is determined with his Face2Face Program to aim a powerful message directly at the youth of Worcester County. Upon request from school officials, the sheriff has to date met with well over 32,000 students from every corner of Worcester County with the Face2Face Program.

Most recently, more than 300 seventh and eighth grade students from Knox Trail Jr. High School received a special visit from the sheriff to learn about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

As the only substance abuse prevention program of its kind in the country, the Sheriff’s Face2Face program is an effective combination of both real life testimonials and inmate stories, and emphasizes both the facts and myths about the dangers of drug and alcohol use. The Sheriff’s Face2Face presentation also incorporates the use of cutting edge technology and special computer software to demonstrate to students firsthand the shocking effects that substance abuse can have on an individual’s face over time.

During the Face2Face presentation, students at Knox Trail Jr. High School were able to see the potential devastating physical impact drug use can have on their very own classmates.

“As sheriff it is always a pleasure for me to spend time in Spencer, hometown of my grandmother and special area for my family, and today I am thrilled to be here meeting with over 300 students from Knox Trail Jr. High with the Face2Face program to bring a serious message to our school kids about the enormous dangers and devastating consequences of substance abuse.”
Evangelidis continued, “With almost 90 percent of the inmates today at the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction behind bars due to addictions 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. I look forward to visiting every school district in the region with this program.”

Knox Trail Jr. High School Principal Joyce Nelson said, “We truly appreciate Sheriff Evangelidis taking the time to meet with all of our seventh and eighth grade students today with the Face2Face Program. The sheriff’s presentation was by far the most powerful drug prevention program we have had at Knox Trail Jr. High School and the feedback from today’s assembly from both our students and faculty has been tremendous. As a school administrator, I highly recommend the Sheriff’sFace2Face program and hope every middle and high school student in the county has the opportunity hear this message.”

The Sheriff’s Face2Face Program was donated by individuals and businesses who are dedicated to the county’s youth. Since the beginning of last school year, Sheriff Evangelidis has personally brought the Face2Face message to Middle and High School students from every corner of Worcester County, including Worcester, Milford, Shrewsbury, Gardner, Athol, Ashburnham, Westminster, Princeton, Charlton, Leicester, Spencer, Boylston, Southbridge, Millbury, Gardner, Grafton, Auburn, Charlton, Oxford, North Brookfield, Holden, Paxton, Webster, West Boylston, Dudley, Barre, Northbridge, Warren, Templeton, Mendon, Rutland and Sutton.

Other area school administrators have given the sheriff’s Face2Face Program high marks as well, including David Prouty High School Principal Robert O’Brien. “In over 20 years of being an educator, Sheriff Evangelidis was by far the most effective speaker in spreading the word of 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 others schools take advantage of this opportunity.”

As the only sheriff in the country presenting this highly effective and innovative drug prevention program, Sheriff Evangelidis is committed to bringing his Face2Face message to every school district in Worcester County. During the school year the sheriff dedicates his time each week to personally present the Face2Face program to Middle Schools and High Schools throughout the region and to date is honored to have met Face2Face with over 32,000 students from all over Worcester County.

“Face2Face is an effective and innovative drug prevention program designed to make students think twice before making that bad choice to begin drug and alcohol use,” said Evangelidis.