MPH and Henninger Students Hear Powerful Message

MPH was honored to welcome Deanna Axe as our special guest speaker at today’s Upper School assembly. Deanna, a mother from Camillus, lost her daughter, Morgan, to an accidental drug overdose in 2015 and has since dedicated herself to fighting the opioid epidemic. Deanna was featured in this segment on local TV news.

The presentation was powerful and emotional. Students sat silently as Deanna told Morgan’s story, somewhat shocked that a “typical” teenager who loved volleyball could end up going down such a traumatic path.  A video showing photos of Morgan punctuated Deanna’s point that there is no face of addiction–it can strike anyone, anywhere. Comments overheard from MPH students afterward included these: “You always hear talking during assemblies, but not today;” “I think that really made an impact;” and “She is so courageous to tell her story.”

Joining MPH students were students and staff from Henninger High School as part of the Syracuse Community Wide Dialogue to end Racism.  This dynamic program is run by Interfaith Works of Syracuse and partners city schools with suburban schools in an effort to forge racial and ethnic understanding between groups who may not otherwise have the opportunity to lean from one another. Today, Henninger students shadowed MPH students, and next month, a group of MPH students will spend the day at Henninger.

It is our hope that presentations like these will help bring awareness to our students about the devastating matter of opioid addiction.  If students or parents would like additional information or have questions on this topic, please contact Health and Wellness Instructor Lisa Patchen, or Director of Counseling Joy Strickland.