PHOTO: L to R: Sheriff Shaun Golden, Denise Wegeman,  Society for the Prevention on Teen Suicide-Freehold, Debi Heptig, RFYD Dream Team Member, Angela V. RFYD Dream Team Member, Sgt. Risheem Whitten of Brookdale Community College Police Department- RFYD Dream Team Member, Terry Bolden, RFYD Dream Team Member, James Wallace, RFYD Dream Team Member, RFYD Coordinator Selma Morris & Chief Michael Pasterchick, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

FREEHOLD, NJ - Monmouth County: Sheriff Shaun Golden continues in the fight against drug abuse and violence involving our youths. That's why he welcomed school officials to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office on March 4th where the agency's Reach for Your Dreams (RFYD) program was presented. The goal is to implement the program at schools throughout Monmouth County where students will hear firsthand from members of the RFYD Dream Team about their personal struggles and experiences when making poor choices regarding drugs, alcohol and violence.

"Prevention through drug education is the only way our kids have a chance to survive today's drug culture and Reach Their Dreams," said Sheriff Shaun Golden.

During the presentation, RFYD Dream Team members shared their stories with school officials. The members included Sgt. Risheem Whitten of Brookdale Community College Police Department, Angela V., a recovering addict and Debi Heptig who lost her daughter to a drug overdose. Each member was carefully screened and selected by the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office RFYD Coordinator Selma Morris, and a selection committee of school and law enforcement officials. Morris, a retired investigator from the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, witnessed the devastating effects drug addiction has on people.

The RFYD program began at the Warren County Sheriff's Office in Kentucky in 2004. It was implemented at the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office in 2005 and has now been recreated.

"It's crucial that this program be implemented throughout our schools, especially when heroin, opiates and alcohol made up 78% of all substance abuse treatment admissions in Monmouth County in 2013," said Sheriff Golden. "The safety of our youths must remain a priority."

Sheriff Golden thanks all for attending and especially acknowledges Dr. Lester Richens, Interim Executive Monmouth County Superintendent of Schools, the RFYD Dream Team, Dawn Doherty, Executive Director of the Society for the Prevention on Teen Suicide-Freehold and the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

For more information about the program please contact RFYD Coordinator Selma Morris at (732) 431-6400 ext. 1114.