The following are quotes taken from the responses of professionals in the field of drug addiction, education and teen counseling.
"The Courage To Speak presentation is unique because of the degree of emotion Ginger Katz brings to it. I have a strong sense of people walking out of there alerted. The program cuts through denial and can be a really important catalyst to help others take action."
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Dr. Thomas Kirk
Former CT State Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Richard C. Briggs High School
350 Main St. Norwalk CT.06851
Tel: (203) 899-2820 Fax (203) 899-2824
Dr. Norman Zamcheck Principal
Dear Ginger and Larry:
I didn't want to tell you that I was apprehensive at the thought of our students sitting for an hour and a half and listening In fact, some stayed even longer, to talk with you, ask questions and share stories. You held our students spellbound during your presentation, and many left the auditorium in tears. All of of us, teachers as well as students, followed every word of your story, and all of us learned something new; how insidious drug use is, how important the role of denial is, among adults and young people alike. Thanks to you we all learned to view this problem in a new light. You gave us fresh insight, and fresh tools to deal with a killer than stalks all of our students.
After you finished I overheard many students discussing your talk, and the impact it had on them. This is a lesson which will stay with Briggs kids for a long time.
Thank you for bringing this invaluable learning experience to our young people. I have no doubt that your visit last Thursday will save lives.
"What a wonderful contribution to our efforts to encourage youth to talk openly with their parents and mentors. You are to be commended for your courage and wisdom. The Courage To Speak program you have created is one step in the right direction."
Barry R. McCaffrey, Director
Executive Office Of The President
Office of National Drug Control Policy
"With your partnership in CASA's missions, we can make a major difference in our private schools and set a standard for the country. I hope you will join forces with us to help protect our teens from the scourge of addiction and substance abuse."
Joseph A. Califano, Jr., President
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
"Ginger Katz is currently working with us to develop a Public Service Announcement that will be included in a national anti-drug campaign. Personal stories are always the most connecting and persuasive. Parents are key to prevention. If only more people whose own lives or families have been torn apart by the tragedy of drug use and addiction would speak out instead of turning away.
Thomas A. Hedrick, Jr., Vice Chairman
Partnership For A Drug-Free America
"Ginger gives 150 percent of herself. The fact that she shares her deepest emotions really grips people. It makes parents realized that her journey could be their journey if they don't take action. It lets kids see how much a parent suffers when they lose their child. The Courage To Speak presentation has such an impact on these students. I've had many come up to me right afterwards and say that they will never do drugs again."
Louise Simpson, CT State Representative
Tough Love, International
"I wish to extend our thanks to Ginger Katz who gave a powerful testimony relating to her personal experience with the effects of narcotics engulfing one's own family. She has demonstrated the importance of sending the message to our community to get involved in reaching our youth."
Harry W. Rilling, Chief of Police
"Every parent and child should hear the Courage To Speak presentation. All too often, people are afraid or ashamed to speak about a problem. Breaking the code of silence, Ginger Katz has helped herself and probably so many people who have listened to her progam."
David H. Ferris, Jr., Police Officer
New Canaan, CT
"I was Ian's Housemaster at Norwalk High School. We knew he had a problem, but didn't realize how severe it was. I watched the expressions on the faces of the young people as Ginger Katz spoke. Her impact on the students is extraordinary. She has helped so many realize they need to seek help.
Dewey Amos, Housemaster
Norwalk High School