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Ocean County Teen Wins Statewide Substance Use Prevention Music Competition

April 3, 2020



Contact: Natalie Golub, 273-382-4560, media@drugfreenj.org

Ocean County Teen Wins Statewide Substance Use
 Prevention Music Competition

Monmouth County Student Claims Second Place, Morris County Students Earn Third

Millburn, NJ — The New Jersey Shout Down Drugs music competition, sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ), 95.9 WRAT and the New Jersey Broadcasters Association held its Prevention Concert as an Audio Show showcasing the finalists and their songs on April 3rd at 6 p.m. on the Shout Down Drugs website (www.ShoutDownDrugs.com). Winners were then announced live on-air at 6:45 p.m on 95.9 WRAT.

This year there were 13 finalists from 6 different counties throughout the state who created original songs promoting anti-drug and prevention messages. Shannon Harrington, of Barnegat High School in Ocean County, won first place for her original song, “Gonna Be Drug Free”. Nicole Pinnella, of Wall High School in Monmouth County earned second place for her original song, “One Night,” and Jocelyn Morales, Emma Shaw, Sarah Levin, Maggie Waldron and Lexi Thibodeau of the group MK Sophomore Vocal Academy of Morris Knolls High School in Morris County took home third place for their song “Make the Choice”.

The winners were chosen by a panel of independent judges, as well as online voting, which began in February and closed at midnight April 2nd. A profile of each musical act was featured on www.shoutdowndrugs.com, and the public was able to vote for their favorite songs.

The first place winner received a music contract worth $5,000, second received $3,000 and third received $2,000.  They hope to perform their original songs at statewide events over the next year. 

“These talented New Jersey high school students have shown their commitment to being peer leaders on the issue of substance use prevention,” says PDFNJ’s Executive Director Angelo Valente. “We were disappointed that we could not hold the Prevention Concert as planned, but the Audio Show and live on-air announcement of the winners still allowed the New Jersey Shout Down Drugs program to be to showcased and allowed these teens to highlight the impact they can have in fighting the current drug epidemic gripping the state and country.”

Shout Down Drugs was to hold its Prevention Concert at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the concert was made available as an audio show format on the same day the concert was to take place.

To listen to the Prevention Concert Audio Show, please 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 $100 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 180 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.


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