Fighting Heroin

Article Published: 03/07/2017

Three EHOVE Career Center students have made it their mission to make their classmates, parents, friends and family aware of the harm that heroin causes, how to speak up if you or someone else is using it or needs help, and what happens to heroin users (and their loved ones!) medically, legally and beyond.

On Friday, March 10, EHOVE will be the site of two #SpeakNow events.  From 7-8:30 pm, the public is invited to attend a presentation that will also cover the many aspects of what heroin does to users, families, friends and the community, and how to get help.  Earlier in the day, all EHOVE students will attend a presentation geared toward these issues with a teen-related focus.

Speakers who have been directly involved with the effects of heroin in our area will cover their areas of experience with overdoses and deaths handled by first responders, legal issues and incarceration, family members of heroin users and overdose victims, as well as recovery and support resources.

Medical Careers students Macie Parthemore (Perkins HS), Erica Vargas (Norwalk HS) and Chey Liss (New London HS) were inspired to start this project after they'd been constantly hearing about heroin and its impact in the news, and when it hit very close to home with the overdose deaths of people they knew including EHOVE alumna Emily Cooley.  

The students incorporated their efforts into a project for the SkillsUSA State Competition in the Health Services Career Pathway Showcase which they'll present in Columbus this April.  "Just like Emily's mom said, we need to speak up and not be silenced about this," said Vargas.  

"Emily was just like us but then the drug took over," said Liss.  "Some people don't know what they're getting into and what it'll do to them, their friends and their family."

"If our program can help one person speak now and get help, we've done our job," said Parthemore.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.  The Ohio chapter provides its 31,500+ career-technical education members, which includes many EHOVE students, the opportunity to participate in local, regional, state and national competitive events, and encourages students to give back to the community through various community service activities.

EHOVE students have several reasons for participating in SkillsUSA and the competitions.  The leadership opportunities, community service work, chance to apply the career field skills they’ve learned, and professional connections and opportunities are a few examples.