The History BehindProject GraduationThe concept originated in Maine in response to the deaths of 18 teenagers in alcohol-related highway crashes. Seven of the teens were from one community. Parents in the community were devastated and determined not to let this happen again. In an effort to prevent the incapacitating injuries and deaths that were often the result of teens driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, the parents organized "Project Graduation". From that school the idea spread. By 1985, 95% of the high schools in Maine were hosting successful chemical-free parties. Project Graduation is now a statewide program.In Texas
How did this drug-free celebration originate in Texas? While attending a traffic safety conference in the early 80's, John McKay, now a retired TxDOT employee learned of Maine's success with sponsoring over-night chemical-free Project Graduation events following graduation ceremonies.
Working with the Maine Department of Education and Cultural Services Alcohol, Drugs, and Highway Safety Program Coordinator, TxDOT utilized the original Project Graduation concept, ideas, and experiences and adapted it for Texas high schools. The concept was endorsed by The Congress of Parents and Teachers, Texan's War on Drugs, Texas Department of Health, Texas Safety Association, Texas Education Agency, Texas Center for the Judiciary, Inc. and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Two schools piloted the program during the 1983-84 school year. Later, senior prom activities were also identified as a potentially deadly time for teen involvement in alcohol-related traffic crashes. In 1987, the name changed from Project Graduation to Project Celebration. These changes enabled schools to hold events during the time of year which put their students at the greatest risk for alcohol-related vehicle crashes.
This is the last chance for all of the students to spend quality time together at their home campus, and celebrate together, before they all go onto the next stage in their life. An event of this magnitude will require a lot of volunteers and community support. Let's give our seniors 100% of our commitment to make this special event happen for each and everyone of them.