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Drug Free Leaders Kickoff was great!
Drug Free Leaders Kickoff was great!
Kendra Ward
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Drug Free Leaders is an optional leadership program that includes drug screening and is offered to all EHOVE high school students.  It was created with the goals of:

  • providing a positive school culture and climate
  • assisting students in creating and maintaining high character
  • building a strong community of citizens and employable young adults to fill business & industry needs that help our area and economy

The 2019 kickoff event started with Deputy Tony Gibbs of Erie County Sheriff's Office and EHOVE's School Resource Officer, encouraging students to take stock in being drug-free for their future.  Next was a moving presentation by Lavin & Tom Schwan about their son, Joey, and his journey with addiction.  It was followed by an inspiring presentation, "You Can Get There from Here" by Jay Crawford, Voice of the Cleveland Browns pre-season games and former ESPN Host. EHOVE students in Teen Leadership Corps, who assisted in planning the event, were the final group to take the stage so they could encourage their classmates to participate in the program. See the album of event photos.

The event was hosted by EHOVE Assistant Directors Matt Ehrhardt and Charlie Warthling, who manage the Drug Free Leaders Committee.  The committee consists of EHOVE staff members and representatives from area organizations and businesses including Firelands Regional Medical Center, Janotta & Herner, Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center and Erie County Sheriff's Office.

Over 180 students signed up to become members during the summer.  Registration forms were distributed at today’s kickoff event and are due by September 30.

Members of EHOVE Drug Free Leaders have the opportunity to connect with professionals in their career field and volunteer for community events.  Throughout the school year, there will be random, confidential drug testing of members.  Random drug testing gives students a reason to say no to peer pressure.

Students who stay drug free enjoy the benefits and rewards for the school year, such as, scholarship opportunities, gift cards, early school release, leadership training and mentorship with area professionals, and more.  Maintaining the annual membership and having it listed on applications will be noticed by potential employers and colleges.

EHOVE and area employers who recognize the importance of a drug-free workforce are covering the majority of the costs of this vital program.  Interested students complete the application and pay a non-refundable fee of $15.  Testing is conducted at EHOVE by an outside entity.  Every member will be tested in October and at least one more time during the year, possibly multiple times due to random sampling of members.  Students who pass the initial test will receive an ID card and access the benefits. 

The lab will directly contact the parent/guardian of a student who has tested positive.  They will discuss test findings and make connections to local counseling, medical and rehabilitation resources.  The student’s membership will be suspended until a future test proves he/she is drug-free.  Students who have valid prescriptions that may cause positive results can provide documentation to be a member.

For more information, contact Matt Ehrhardt at 419-499-4663 x379 or