The program, which is in its third year, took place in every 5th grade class on Staten Island. The program was also piloted for 7th graders in four middle schools and for freshman at New Dorp High School.
At the ceremony, BP Oddo and members of the NYPD spoke about the dangers of addiction and encouraged students to act as leaders in and out of the classroom. At the end of the ceremony, students took a pledge to abstain from tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
BP Oddo, who noted that he wants to see the program expand even further, told the graduates, “Through this program, you are going to be part of the solution. We need you. We can’t win this battle without you. We need your help in the pushback in the fight against addiction.”
“The idea here was not just to give you coping tools, but to mold yourself into that leadership role,” said Assistant Chief Edward Delatorre, Borough Commander of NYPD.
About 7,900 students participated in the program this year.