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Student Musician Sends an Important Message with Her Song that Addresses Substance Misuse

January 17, 2024

Contacts: Lisa Batitto, news@drugfreenj.org

Student Musician Sends an Important Message with Her Song that Addresses Substance Misuse Among Teens


**To arrange an interview with Tina LaRosa, please contact Lisa Batitto at news@drugfreenj.org**

 — When Tina LaRosa from East Hanover clinched the second-place spot in the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey's (PDFNJ) Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drug competition, she discovered a deeper connection to her music and its potential for social impact.

Tina's composition "Wasted" earned recognition in the 2023 competition, marking a significant milestone for the then-sophomore at Hanover Park High School. "Since winning the song contest, I was able to use the prize money to buy a brand-new ukulele," she said. This investment was a turning point, significantly enhancing her musical prowess.

The competition was more than a platform for showcasing her talent; it became a catalyst for Tina's growth as an artist and advocate. "This achievement really made me realize how my songwriting doesn't always have to be about my personal experiences," she said. "It can also be written for a cause – to bring attention to a certain topic or feeling." Inspired, Tina embarked on a journey to use her music as a means to raise awareness and inspire change.

The Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs competition is gearing up for its 20th season. This initiative, supported by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) and 95.9 WRAT, offers young artists a stage to tackle societal issues through music. The upcoming virtual Prevention Concert will be hosted by Jimmy Steal, Creative Services Director of WRAT. Submissions are open until Sunday, March 24. Finalists will be chosen by an esteemed panel of judges, and their songs will be broadcast on 95.9 WRAT during the concert on Wednesday, May 8, with winners announced live at the event's end.

The competition offers substantial prizes: a $5,000 music contract for the first place, and $3,000 and $2,000 contracts for the second and third places, respectively, all provided by PDFNJ.

"Witnessing young talents use their music to promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle is truly inspiring," remarked Angelo Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ. "Through this contest, they gain a meaningful platform to address critical social issues."

For more details on the competition and how to enter, visit For competition rules and entry details, visit shoutdowndrugs.com.


Best known for its statewide substance use prevention 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 $200 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 226 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.

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