The Michael Valdes Foundation proudly partners with NOPE, Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education, in funding an annual scholarship to a deserving Hillsborough County senior who joins us in fighting to end the epidemic of drug abuse and overdose.
2022 Scholarship Awards
The Michael Valdes Foundation, in partnership with the NOPE Foundation, surprised two soon-to-graduate seniors of Hillsborough County Public Schools – Mackenzie Young of George Steinbrenner High School PTSA and Eden Abraham of Paul R. Wharton High School – by presenting these students with $1,000 scholarship checks! The students were required to write essays as part of the scholarship application; Eden’s essay is structured around 3 important lessons:
- Breaking the code of silence: Most teenagers do not want to be a “snitch” or “tattletale”, so they tend to keep quiet when they see something they aren’t supposed to. However, when it comes to possibly overdosing on drugs, there should be no “code of silence”. If you are a witness or even participating in drugs yourself, it is important to call for help if someone’s life might be in danger.
- It only takes one time to kill: Some people are under the impression that you are only at risk if you take multiple pills. I understand that teenagers sometimes feel invincible or just want to fit in, but they do not understand the risk they are putting themselves in, even by doing it once just to try it.
- 911 Good Samaritan Law: Many students do not report if someone is overdosing on substances because they do not want to get in trouble for doing the same thing. However, this law does protect the caller from legal trouble & encourages people to call 911 if they believe someone is showing signs of overdose.
The Michael Valdes Foundation is grateful for the thousands of students who have been educated & empowered by the NOPE presentations.
NOPE Scholarship Awardees Share Their Passion
2020 was a challenging year for most, including seniors in high schools across the Tampa Bay Area. NOPE of Hillsborough made many students’ end of the year a little bit brighter with a $1,000 check. This video highlights what these seniors took away from our NOPE student presentation and how they will carry our stories and messages forward.
Past Scholarship Recipients