HOWELL, NJ — A Howell Township teenager is a finalist in the 15th annual New Jersey Shout Down Drugs high school music competition.

Stephen Sayegh, a sophomore at Howell High School, was chosen as the Monmouth County finalist in the statewide program, which challenges high school students to create original music with lyrics that contain peer-to-peer substance use prevention messages. 

The program is sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.

Sayegh's song, "Sugarcoated Overdoses," was judged the top entry from the county, earning him a spot to perform at the annual Prevention Concert at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10 at Rutgers University's Mastrobuono Theatre.

Thirteen musical acts, comprised of 24 students from nine counties, will compete for $10,000 in music contracts at the Prevention Concert.

The finalists not only will be judged on their performances but also on public voting for their entries.

The website,, features profiles of all the 2019 finalists and you can vote for your favorite song through May 9. These results will factor into the finalists' scores on the night of the concert.

You can see and listen to Sayegh's song by clicking here. You can vote as many times as you like.

"The 2019 New Jersey Shout Down Drugs participants have displayed not only creativity and musical talent, but also determination to make a difference in the lives of their peers by using their talent to spread important messages of prevention," said Angelo Valente, executive director of Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. "Shout Down Drugs is unique, because it allows young people to be leaders in a positive and creative way. It's a wonderful opportunity for these teens to inspire their peers with their passionate messages of substance use prevention."

Bert Baron, morning talk show host on 1450 WCTC, will serve as the master of ceremonies at the concert, presented by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association and 1450 WCTC. Tickets to the concert are free of charge and can be reserved at or by calling 973-467-2100, ext. 19.