WHS Holds Substance Abuse Awareness Day

Post date: Dec 06, 2013 7:50:50 PM

Substance Abuse Awareness Day (known as Alcohol Awareness Day at many other Maine schools in December) was observed on November 25th at Wells High School. Mr. Charles “Chucky” Rosa of Seabrook, New Hampshire was invited by WHS’s Nurse Patricia Endsley to visit the school and be the event’s guest speaker.

Rosa, who offers workshops on several topics and speaks to students and youth groups about the hazards of substance abuse and avoidance of such, spoke in the morning at two hour-long sessions encompassing the entire student body about his life experiences with school and work and the loss of his two sons, Domenic and Vincent, to accidental drug overdoses.

Before his talk, Mr. Rosa, who labels his mission ‘Chucky’s Fight’, showed a Fox news story about his life and work. On the video, he is shown emerging from one of his typical forays into the Atlantic Ocean, a daily ritual he maintains, even through the winter months.

After speaking, Rosa took questions from the audiences, met with staff in the school library between talks and stayed through lunch periods to meet and respond to more questions from students. Endsley, along with WHS staff Ms. Curcio, Mrs. Cotty and Mr. Ericson, helped facilitate these impromptu lunchtime question and answer periods.

During his visit, Mr. Rosa offered to give any student a special ‘dog tag’ to wear if they pledged to avoid alcohol and drugs. “I would say 90% of the kids went up to receive a dog tag,” commented Endsley in an email. “They were asked to not use drugs, alcohol and to make good decisions. The dog tag is a symbol and reminder of that pledge.”

“A day like this is very important when we have a speaker with a powerful message that the kids can relate to,” commented Endsley. “Many came up to me to say how much Mr. Rosa's message touched and influenced them.”

When asked what he thought the most important message he wanted students to remember after hearing him speak, Rosa replied, “If you haven’t started (taking drugs, drinking alcohol), don’t. And if you have, get yourself straightened out. That’s what’s important.”

Endsley also hopes to have Rosa back at some point to speak to smaller groups in health classes and hopes to organize an "ocean plunge' in the spring to coincide with the WHS triathlon.

Caption: Chucky Rosa speaking to students in the Olenn Auditorium at Wells High School on November 25th.

Caption: Next to the stage facing the audience is Chucky Rosa (left) and WHS Nurse Pat Endsley.