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The Daily Holden

HOLDEN, Mass. — Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has been presenting his Face2Face Program to Middle School and High School students throughout Worcester County, and last week he visited Wachusett Regional High School for the first of two presentations in Holden this month.

On Friday Evangelidis paid a very special visit to his former high school, Wachusett Regional, to have a Face2Face meeting with over 500 students in the 9th grade 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 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, so students at WRHS were able to see firsthand the potential devastating impact drug use can have on their very own classmates.

“As a proud member of the 1979 Wachusett Regional High School graduating class, as a former State Legislator, and today as Worcester County Sheriff it is an honor and privilege for me to visit WRHS with the Face2Face Program. As Sheriff and as a former WRHS Mountaineer today’s visit is extremely special, returning to the same school that has meant so much my family including my mother Judy who is here today and is a 1957 alum as well as my oldest daughter who is a current student and will be in the 2013 graduating class.”

Evangelidis continued “Since beginning the Face2Face Program, I have been looking forward to meeting with Wachusett’s students to discuss the serious impact of drug and alcohol use. With almost 90% 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 was extremely important for me to bring the Face2Face message to my hometown and former high school.”

“We are always happy to have our former student, Sheriff Evangelidis return to Wachusett Regional High School and on behalf of our students and faculty I would like to thank him for personally presenting the Face2Face program to our entire 9th grade class today. The Sheriff’s presentation was extremely innovative and effective holding the undivided attention of over 500 of our students, as an educator I strongly recommend the Sheriff’s Face2Face Program for every High School in Worcester County.” said Wachusett Regional High School Principal William Beando.

The Face2Face Program was donated by individuals and businesses who are dedicated to the County’s youth.

In the past few months Sheriff Evangelidis has personally presented Face2Face to Middle & High School students in Worcester, Leominster, Clinton, Leicester, Spencer, Southbridge, Millbury, Gardner, Grafton, Auburn, Charlton, Oxford, Athol, North Brookfield 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 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,” Beando added.

As the only Sheriff in the country presenting this highly effective and innovative drug prevention program, Sheriff Evangelidis is committed to bringing his Face2Face Program to every school district in Worcester County.

During the school year the Sheriff dedicates his time twice a week to personally presenting Face2Face to Middle and High Schools throughout the 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

Evangelidis will bring the Face2Face Program to Mountview Middle School later this week as well.