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Drug abuse is something that can impact the largest of cities and the smallest of towns. In 2012 there were several drug overdoses in Kenosha county, about forty percent of those overdoses were related to heroin (Kenosha News). By August 2014, there were fifteen confirmed deaths due to drug overdoses with more cases that still had not been confirmed (Fox 6 News Now). With the growing numbers, Parkside's Communications 435 Integrated Marketing class teamed up with Kenosha's Hope Council on a community-based learning project to raise the Profile of the Hope Council and the services they offer. Hope Council is a facility that helps prevention and intervention of drug and alcohol abuse. The Executive Director of the Hope Council, Guida Brown, approached professor, Faye Akindes, with an idea for a social media campaign to target high school students. It was made clear that there is a drug crisis and targeting a younger audience can help prevent drug and alcohol abuse later on. One student in the class, Conor Geraghty, shared his substance abuse story. The community based learning project and #ItsYourChoice campaign was started.
The class combined with Gripko Productions, have produced a video and you can like their Facebook page. The video has made its way around Facebook news feeds and grows in views daily. The students have dedicated themselves to reaching a younger audience throughout Kenosha county through the social media and t-shirt sales.
These Parkside student are choosing to live their lives above the influence in real amazing ways.