Seventeen-year-old senior Jake White of Tantasqua Regional High School is helping his classmates say no to drugs and alcohol.

“I’m trying to get kids where, if they’re presented in a bad situation, to think through it, and make the right choices,” said Jake.

Jake is a founding member of his school’s chapter of “Project Purple;” a group that helps kids steer clear of alcohol and drugs, and encourages students to pledge sobriety.

Jake and his friends started the chapter, after hearing former Celtic and Project Purple founder Chris Herren’s tragic story of drug abuse.

“I have seen what it can do, it’s not pretty, it’s not good. That’s probably what has made me choose to be a sober student and help other kids,” Jake said.

“He’s kind of been like someone to lean on, like someone to look up to. Cause who knows who else I would have been hanging out with in those times,” said Jeremy Carter, Project Purple.

Project Purple now has at least 40 members.

School supervisors say the group provides a safe environment for kids to open up and share very private, painful stuff.

“All these kids, somehow addiction has affected their lives. But, everyone was so supportive, we’re all clapping for each other,” said Anne Marie Flanagan, Project Purple advisor.

Jake says it’s that support and teamwork that makes it such a success.

Jake recently rose over $1,500 to help support Project Purple and The Herren Project.

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