Hamilton Township Students Write Winning Script in Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s Middle School PSA Challenge


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2018

Contact: Matt Birchenough, Media Coordinator, 201-916-1032, media@drugfreenj.org

HAMILTON — A group of six Hamilton Township middle school students will soon be seen on televisions across New Jersey delivering a strong message on the importance of substance use prevention as part of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) annual statewide Middle School Public Service Announcement (PSA) Challenge.

The students from Grice Middle School in Mercer County — Regina Jannetto, Alyssa Johnson, Matthew Valyo, Meghan Krencicki, Hannah Linkowsky and Ashley Schoener —  produced the winning script for the 2017 contest. The 30-second spot titled “Are You Up to the Challenge?” stars each of the students and invites fellow New Jersey youth to live free of substance use. The PSA will air on stations across the tri-state area.

“We are always so pleased to see the powerful messages the students create to inspire their peers to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Angelo Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. “The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has consistently believed that peer-to-peer messages are an effective means of countering peer pressure when it comes to substance use.”

The Middle School PSA Challenge encourages students in Grades 5-8 across New Jersey to write a script for a 30-second public service announcement with a peer-to-peer substance use prevention message. In 2017, 398 students created 123 entries that were evaluated by a panel of judges on creativity, message content and ability to be produced.


Best known for its statewide anti-drug advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication. To date, more than $100 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history. Since its inception the Partnership has garnered 166 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.