Freshman Forums 2020: Influences on Youth

Welcome to Influences on Youth Forum 2020. The goal of the Influences on Youth Forum is to provide parents and students with pertinent information addressing the topic of negative influences of illegal substances and the importance of mental health awareness on our youth. The purpose of this program is to promote dialogue and provide information regarding the physical, social, legal & emotional impact of these influences.

It is our expectation that each student view this program with their parent/guardian in its entirety and complete the post-survey. All students who have completed this program (verified by survey and attendance submission) will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

It is important to note that this program will count as a portion of your final grade in your PE or Health Class (depending on your school).

The program consists of four presentations below.  Each must be viewed to count.

The Influences on Youth Forum is developed by: Jonathan Law & Joseph A. Foran High School Administrations, Pupil Personnel,  Student Assistance Teams and Milford Prevention Council.

Please follow the steps below to complete and earn proper credit for the assignment.

**You may select one of the two personal stories (#4) to view. You are not required to view both.


Both Parent/Guardian and Student surveys must be completed to claim credit.

Access the PARENT/GUARDIAN survey here
Access the STUDENT survey here


Presentation #1: Social Host Law/Meet our SROs

Officer Mathew Goldfuss | Law High School Resource Officer
Officer Goldfuss has been with the Milford Police Department since August 2013. He attended the Milford Police Academy and graduated in March of 2014. He is a NASRO certified School Resource Officer and has been active in the school system since the start of the 2015 school year. He is currently the SRO assigned to Jonathan Law High School.

Officer Patrick Taylor | Foran High School Resource Officer
Officer Taylor has been a member of the Milford Police Department since 2004. In 2006, Officer Taylor was selected to attend the Connecticut State Police K9 Academy and had been a K9 handler for the MPD until retiring his K9 partner, “Noble,” in 2014. Officer Taylor has been a SRO at Foran High School since then. He has a son and daughter (twins) in third grade.

Presentation #2: Power of YOU(th) Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

Nicole Wichowski, LCSW, is the Youth Program Manager at Mothers Against Drunk Driving. She works with parents, youth and community members to educate them on the dangers of underage drinking and marijuana use. Along with presenting in schools, Nicole facilitates the MADD SMART program, a court recommended program for teens.

Presentation #3: Resilience  – Mindfulness & Stress Reduction

Dr. Jennifer Ju
Jennifer Ju, MD is a family medicine physician who completed her residency training at Brown University. During her residency, Dr. Ju participated in a mindfulness based stress reduction program, created by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at University of Massachusetts. Since then, Dr. Ju has attended multiple workshops with numerous specialists in the field of mindfulness, including those within the field of education. She has also participated in mindfulness meditation programs developed by leaders such as Sharon Salzberg, Rick Hanson, PhD, and Deepak Chopra, MD.
Dr. Ju is dedicated to educating the community about mindfulness and its benefits. In 2017-2018, Dr. Ju gave keynote presentations on mindfulness and wellness, as well as additional workshops in 2019, at the full day professional development event, One Day For Day One, sponsored by the Milford Education Foundation and Milford Public Schools (MPS). She also gave the keynote presentation on mindfulness and its benefits in March 2018, at Minds in Motion, a program sponsored by the Milford Education Foundation and Connecticut Association for the Gifted, in conjunction with MPS. In addition, Dr. Ju conducted a half day professional development conference on mindfulness at the Early Childhood Center in Fairfield, as well as multiple presentations on mindfulness at numerous schools, such as Jonathan Law High School, Joseph Foran High School, and Fair Haven Pre K-8 School. Most recently, Dr. Ju conducted weekly mindfulness and wellness virtual workshops for all MPS staff in April-June 2020, and for MPS middle school and high school students in May-June 2020. Dr. Ju is passionate about educating and empowering all to achieve optimal health and wellness, and to make the most of each moment.

Presentation #4: Personal Stories (you only need to view one of the stories below for credit)

STORY #1:  Stephen Hill: A Journey to Recovery
Video available through January 2021

Introduction: Please click to watch this short intro before viewing the presentation below

STORY #2:  Jeremy Kreill – MAAD Volunteer