Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chris Herren Returns to Burlington High School

Burlington High School is happy to announce that Chris Herren will return to BHS to speak to students and parents on February 1st 2017. BHS students participate in a number of educational assemblies over the course of their high school years; this is another powerful assembly that reaches everyone:

Student presentation will be on Wednesday, February 1st at 12:30 p.m. (for BHS juniors and seniors)

Presentation for parents will be on Wednesday, February 1st at 7 p.m at Burlington High School, 123 Cambridge Street in the Fogelburg Auditorium.

Mr. Herren, a former high school All-American from Fall River, MA, who was a college basketball star eventually played  for the Boston Celtics. He will share his personal story and his struggle with addiction and his road to sobriety in a captivating presentation. Chris Herren, is the focus of an ESPN Special titled Unguarded, author of the book Basketball Junkie, and founder of the Chris Herren Project Purple Initiative.

Mr. Herren shares his journey through Durfee High School, his college years at Boston College and Fresno State, his professional NBA career, his battle with addiction, and his road to recovery. He shares his unbelievable journey from national hoop star to drug addiction and beyond. Mr Herren recounts his high school experiences with speakers at his school talking about drugs and alcohol and thinking "come on man, I don't need this."

An important message that Mr. Herren will share is that you must be happy with who you are and not be "somebody different on Fridays and Saturdays." He encourages students to have the courage to be happy with who they are and not turn to substances to be cool, tough, or to fit in. Mr. Herren focuses on educating students about the importance of helping their friends who may be struggling with addiction, self-harm, or other dangerous behaviors by speaking up. "True friends will knock on doors, I wished someone knocked on my door and said, hey Mr. Herren you’d better help Chris".  "The code for me growing up was not to ‘rat on each other, ‘but that's Hollywood; true friends step up and intervene, they don't just stand by."

Mr. Herren's nonprofit organization, Project Purple, is dedicated to providing treatment navigation and educational and mentoring programs to those impacted by addiction. The Purple Project also works to educate people of all ages about the dangers of substance abuse -- one person, one family at a time. Mr. Herren encourages students to stand up against substance abuse and commends  students who do the right thing. His message is that he would like to see  an end to environments where students who make good choices get mocked by classmates and celebrate students  who stand up and do the right thing.

Burlington High School Administration and staff strive to promote positive decision making and fous efforts on helping our students learn to broaden all levels of acceptance at Burlington High School. Thank you to Health Teacher Amy Doughty and Associate Principal Deb Deacon for their hard work in bringing Chris Herren to BHS and for promoting the BHS BSmart Program, which focuses on the plethora of issues that impact our young adults and tries to consistently deliver the following messages:

The power of respect and responsibility
The impact and consequences of our choices and decisions
The issues of bullying, peer pressure, and drugs/alcohol
Appreciation for our abilities and the people in our life
The courage to believe in oneself
The power we have to reach out and make a difference

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