RAHWAY, NJ - RHS’s Speech and Broadcasting program, Kudos, was recognized for earning a first-place trophy and a $1,000 cash award for winning the Prevention Links Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest. Prevention Links is a private, not-for-profit organization, whose primary goal, according to its website, is “to pull together all available resources to eliminate the deleterious effects of drugs, alcohol, violence, and inadequate educational and health institutions in our communities.”

Senior Jay-Quan Johnson and Class of 2016 graduate, Edriece Patterson, who currently attends West Point, submitted their video last year, with the help and support of their teacher, Ms. Palermo. In the annual contest, students submit a positive 30-second video designed to discourage the use of alcohol that highlights the severe consequences that can result from underage drinking.

Rahway’s video was reviewed by Union County representatives and Prevention Links staff and the top five videos were posted for three months for online voting. When they found out they were in the top five, Ms. Palermo and her students could hardly wait for the results.

Sign Up for E-News

Ms. Palermo said, “I am so proud of all of my students. We had several submissions, and I was hoping for something. I never dreamed we would get first place. Other schools have more resources, better equipment, and more financial backing. However, we have creativity, heart, and dedication. Our video was different from the others. I created this program with Mr. McNulty 17 years ago, and I am thrilled for the students, the program, and me!” Westfield High School finished the competition in second place, and Roselle Park High School earned a third place finish.

On the day Kudos was presented with the trophy, several important people were in attendance. From the Rahway Public Schools, those present were Rahway’s superintendent, Dr. Patricia Camp; District Manager of Technology, Mr. Robert McNulty; advisor of Kudos, Ms. Lauren Palermo; senior Jay-Quan Johnson; Rahway’s assistant superintendent, Ms. Christine Salcito; and principal of the high school, Mr. John Farinella. Two representatives from Prevention Links arrived to present the award, Mr. George Pizzo and Mr. Michael Litterer.

Ms. Palermo plans to enter the competition again this year, hoping of course for another terrific result. She said, “We will be entering again this year, so please don’t forget to vote if we make it into the top five again. Wish us luck. I’d also like to take a moment to thank everyone who voted for us in this past contest. You definitely put us over the top.”