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Garfield Teens Learn 'Epic' Lessons

Garfield teens spell out the name of their EPIC group.
Garfield teens spell out the name of their EPIC group. Photo Credit: Garfield EPIC

GARFIELD, N.J. — The task of educating Garfield youth about the dangers of drug and alcohol use is an epic one.

The Empower Peers and Inspire Change club, aka EPIC, branched off of the Garfield Prevention Coalition. Both share a similar goal in promoting safe habits, but EPIC consists of high school members, advisor Amelia Gligoroska said.

The club started six years ago, Gligoroska's freshman year at Garfield High School. She now attends Ramapo College.

EPIC has 20 to 25 active members from Garfield. They spend their time helping out either through teen nights or YMCA gatherings to provide a fun, safe place to go, or in speaking about policy change such as in front of the City Council, Gligoroska said.

"It's absolutely amazing, they're so passionate and it's refreshing to see them care about their community so much," she told Daily Voice. "They're just amazing teens to be around and are passionate about life and each other."

The club shifted its focus onto the dangers of newer ways to smoke tobacco, such as hookah, e-cigarettes and vapor pens, the advisor said.

They also partnered with Garfield Brick Oven Pizza to promote the "Parents who host, lose the most" campaign. The EPIC members put stickers on pizza boxes with laws and information about hosting parties with underaged drinking.

Gligoroska said the group continues to grow with teens who want to give back.

MORE INFO: Visit EPIC's Facebook page.

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