Hudson County High School Students Shout Down Drugs


May 4, 2009
Contact Information:
Michelle Vernuccio Media Coordinator
Phone: 973.467.2100, ext. 24



The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and United Way of Hudson County Awards Bayonne High School Students $1000 Music Contract

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey & United Way of Hudson County Award Bayonne High School Students with 1st Place Honors in the 2009 Hudson County Shouts Down Drugs Music Competition.

From Left to Right: Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director, PDFNJ; Winners Agnes Kalinowski & Alan Akins; Guy Catrillo, Contest Judge; Ann Marie Saccente, Campaign Director, United Way of Hudson County & Maria A. Gomez, Vice President, United Way of Hudson County


JERSEY CITY, NJ — Hudson County high school students who participated in the “8th Annual Hudson County Shouts Down Drugs” music competition performed their substance abuse prevention songs live on Friday, May 1, 2009 at the Newport Centre Mall, Jersey City.

High school students throughout Hudson County were asked to create a substance abuse prevention song with original lyrics. This peer-to-peer song writing competition was created by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and United Way of Hudson County to reach out to teenagers through the most inspiring media outlet, music. A panel of judges selected Agnes Kalinowski and Alan Akins from Bayonne High School for first-place honors with their winning song titled “Who’s Linda”. Agnes and Alan were awarded with a $1,000 music contract from the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and United Way of Hudson County.

Agnes and Alan will represent Hudson County in the statewide New Jersey Shouts Down Drugs music competition on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at the Newark Performing Arts Center.

The runners-up in this song writing competition include Group M.C. GEES (Brandon Irby and Lynn Ocasio) from Mt. Carmel Guild High School in Kearny, Marcel Tran from Hudson County Prep High School in Jersey City and Sherlock Anthony from Liberty High School in Jersey City. Each runner-up received an achievement certificate and trophy.

“Music is a universal language and this event provides teenagers with the opportunity to promote drug prevention to their peers in a very creative way, “explained Angelo M. Valente, executive director of the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey. “United Way of Hudson County is proud to support the “Hudson County Shouts Down Drugs” music competition, a project that encourages Hudson County high school students to be peer leaders in the fight against drugs,” detailed Daniel Altilio, president and CPO, United Way of Hudson County.

"This was a great way to address an important issue facing teens in today's society," said Newport Centre Director of Mall Marketing Jill Daniel. Newport Centre was pleased to host this musical competition as a way of giving back to the community. Our shoppers clearly enjoyed watching the students perform their original songs and we congratulate everyone that was involved in this worthwhile endeavor."

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 $50 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 over 46 Advertising and Public Relations Awards from National, Regional & Statewide Media Organizations.