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Garfield Student Drug Prevention Group 'Best In New Jersey'

Garfield Prevention Coalition’s EPIC (Empowering Peers & Inspiring Change) received an award from the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute.
Garfield Prevention Coalition’s EPIC (Empowering Peers & Inspiring Change) received an award from the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute. Photo Credit: Contributed

GARFIELD, N.J. -- EPIC students in Garfield were awarded by a Rutherford institute for making a difference in preventing drug, alcohol and tobacco use among teens.

The students of the Garfield Prevention Coalition’s EPIC (Empowering Peers & Inspiring Change) were selected as the Most Outstanding Prevention Action Group in New Jersey for 2015-16 and presented with the Lindsey Rose Meyer Prevention Award by the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute .

This award is presented annually in memory of Rutherford resident Lindsey Rose Meyer, a Teen Institute leader at St. Mary High School, Rutherford, who died in 2001 of Cystic Fibrosis.

“The recipient of this award is the Most Outstanding Action Group in New Jersey based upon their comprehensive, innovative, and effective prevention programming throughout the school year,” the award is inscribed.

The Garfield Prevention Coalition is an initiative of The Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources, a program of Children’s Aid and Family Services.

Related: Garfield Teens Learn 'Epic' Lessons

Fourteen members of EPIC attended the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute leadership training, which focuses on preventing alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among young people. It is held annually at YMCA Camp Mason in Hardwick, NJ.

EPIC members serve as leaders within the community and teach their peers about natural highs and ways to have fun without the use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

In 2015, EPIC, in conjunction with the Garfield Prevention Coalition and NJ GASP (Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy), helped to raise the age of sale for tobacco and tobacco products within the City of Garfield from age 19 to age 21.

EPIC members have participated in the “Parents Who Host Lose The Most” campaign by working with various pizzerias within Garfield to put warning stickers on pizza boxes to raise awareness about hosting parties with under aged drinking.

EPIC members also hosted an alternative to “4/20” events for teenagers with a movie night and presentation on the dangers of marijuana use. April 20, or “4/20” is a self-declared national “holiday” for marijuana culture.

Members of the Coalition include school professionals, business owners, youth-serving organizations and concerned community members looking to create positive change within Garfield and support residents and the city in becoming happy, healthy, and drug free.

The Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute is a program of Partners in Prevention, a non-profit 501(c)(3) agency. Its mission is to guide young people to realize their leadership potential and become empowered to create positive changes in themselves, their schools, and their communities.

The Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources provides community and school-based education programs about alcohol and drug abuse and advocates for responsive prevention and treatment services. The Center's offices are located in Hackensack and its services are available throughout Bergen County.

The Children’s Aid and Family Services is a leading nonprofit human services organization serving northern New Jersey. The agency is fully accredited and has served the community for more than 110 years. Its mission is to preserve, protect, and when needed, provide families.

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