Freshman Forums 2021: Influences on Youth

Welcome to Influences on Youth Forum 2021. 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, social media 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.

Ninth grade students AND their parents/guardians are required to view this important program. 

All participants should follow the Milford Public Schools distance learning expectations. Student participation at this forum fulfills an assignment within the Health curriculum.

Should your child not be able to view this program, he/she will be asked to complete a 2-3 page research/ writing assignment on a related topic in order to independently fulfill their obligation and make them aware of the aspects of these complex issues addressed by the forum.

All students who have completed this program (verified by survey and attendance submission) will be entered in a drawing to win prizes such an Amazon Gift Card, tickets to the Thanksgiving Day football game between Foran and Law and a t-shirt.
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.

The program consists of five presentations below. 
All videos must be viewedAt the conclusion of this forum, there will be two additional steps that must be completed to earn proper credit for this assignment:


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: The Dangerous Truth About Today’s Marijuana: Johnny Stack’s Life & Death Story

Laura Stack, was best known in the business world for her professional moniker, The Productivity Pro. Her 30-year career as a keynote speaker, bestselling author of eight productivity books, and corporate spokesperson came to a screeching halt on November 20, 2019, when her 19-year-old son, Johnny, died
by suicide after becoming psychotic from dabbing high-THC marijuana concentrates. Laura responded by forming the nonprofit, Johnny’s Ambassadors, to educate parents and teens about the dangers of today’s high-THC marijuana on adolescent brain development, mental illness, and suicide. Her platform
now brings education, awareness, and prevention curriculum to parents, drug prevention conferences, community groups, and schools to stop youth marijuana use. She is a powerful speaker who brings Johnny’s personal warning and solid research together in her new book, The Dangerous Truth About Today’s Marijuana: Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story. Described as a force of nature with unstoppable drive and unwavering purpose, Laura is determined to get teens to #StopDabbing.

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: TEEN TRUTH Talks Social Media

Jared Scott, Growing up Jared Scott faced many of the same challenges that your students face. Struggles in his home life, disconnection at school, and constant frustration finding his voice, left him feeling like a marginalized teenager in a West Texas city that simply didn’t understand him. Scott empathetically feels the pressure of being a teenager in today’s world, but through all of this adversity, he has become a true-life example of TEEN TRUTH’s mission to empower student voice and build school culture across North America.
Scott serves as TEEN TRUTH’s #1 youth speaker and has garnered millions of views and followers via his YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook efforts. Scott’s message is about spreading hope, and his TEEN TRUTH assemblies always inspire students to find their voice and be the difference in their school communities.

Presentation #5: Victim Impact Story

Michelle’s Story – MAAD Volunteer


Sign up for the MPC Youth Committee!

We are in the process of trying to grow our presence in the youth community.  Youth that join will help shape this group to make a positive impact.  Past youth have been involved in TED Student Talks, fundraising activities, PSA development, podcasting and more!

To sign up go to or for more information, contact Cathy at [email protected]

View MPC’s latest video on Vaping: