WA THP Project Purple Initiative Club ranks second in nationwide Video Contest

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WA THP Project Purple Initiative Club ranks second in nationwide Video Contest

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Anthony Cammalleri, Managing Editor

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On Monday, January 2nd, it was announced that WA’s The Herren Project’s (THP) Project Purple Initiatuve club ranked second place in the organization’s 2017 THP Project Purple Initiative Video Contest following the first-place winners, Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

As an attempt to spread awareness of topics such as teen substance abuse, bullying, and violence, the non-profit organization, THP Project Purple Initiative, has held in the past five years a nationwide annual contest. The THP Project Purple Initiative Video Contest allows students all over the country to compete by creating videos typically centered around the prevention of teen drug and alcohol abuse.

In the last three years, however, the contest’s theme pertained to the idea “what does THP’s Project Purple Initiative mean to you?”. First place recipient schools are rewarded with a visit and talk from former NBA player and recovered heroin addict, Chris Herren.

WA THP Project Purple Initiative club’s successful contribution consisted of a “mannequin challenge”, a freeze-film in which a presumed cyber-bullying victim is caught hopelessly popping pills in the her bathroom. According to WA THP’s Project Purple Initiative and SADD club advisor Melanie Jozokos, the idea was born at one of the club meetings, but was later developed by teacher Adam Gagne’s Social Media Marketing class.

“This year, we challenged our student body and some teachers to come up with their best ‘mannequin challenge’, an idea we ran with at one of our meetings. [Gagne’s] Social Media Marketing class took the idea to a new level and certainly raised the bar. They brainstormed and put together the best submission, then we added our message to it for the final product,” Jozokos said.

As opposed to focusing exclusively on the THP Project Purple Initiative’s anti-drug message, the WA THP Project Purple Initiative’s club hoped to expand its message to the broader, more inclusive theme of being a role model, and overall,  exemplary citizenship for individuals.

“I think we were successful because we had a very original idea and a very powerful message,” Jozokos said.

“We wanted to convey that being “Purple” is about more than staying away from drugs and alcohol, but being a good person and a positive influence in all aspects of life. Bullying and mental health (as well as many other things teens face) are things that impact drug and alcohol use – people often use them to self-medicate. I also recently saw the amazing documentary ‘Audrie & Daisy’ on Netflix and it sparked the cyberbullying piece of our challenge for the assignment,” said Jozokos.

Furthermore, Jozokos expressed her excitement and pride in the students and teachers involved in making the film.

“I think the video was amazing […]. It was certainly a group effort and we are so proud of all involved,” she said.

Click the link below to see the top five videos:

http://thpprojectpurple.org/2017-thp-project-purple-launch-contest-top-5/

 

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