THP Project Purple Initiative

THP Project Purple Initiative

"The Herren Project was founded over seven years ago. The THP Project Purple Initiative came a year later. To me, it was the eye-opening moment when I was presenting at an assembly. A little girl in a purple shirt announced during the Q & A that she was a sober student and it was followed up by laughter from her classmates. As I’m walking towards her with such pride in my eyes and admiration for this young lady, the laughter kind of froze me. I turned and looked at the kids laughing, and my first reaction was just to say, "Uh, I wish I’d never had to change myself. I wish I felt confident, I wish I felt comfortable enough on Friday nights to hang out with kids I’ve known my whole life and leave drugs out of it.”

It’s about empowering kids, about giving them an outlet, an identity. To walk into schools and see kids dressed in THP Project Purple Initiative T-shirts like I did this morning where I spoke, it’s pretty amazing. I think a lot of the programs, especially in our school system, are built around perfection. This is about understanding and it’s about, as a teenager, as a student … about making the right choice and surrounding yourself with people that empower you to make the right choices.

For so long we sat back and accepted the fact that high school kids are going to get drunk, and high school kids are going to smoke pot. Shame on us as a society for … accepting that culture because there’s nothing normal about a 15-year-old kid doing drugs. It’s a very abnormal thing, and yet we’ve now as a society almost accepted it.”