8-15-13 Project Future Two-a-Days visits schoolsLatest Headlines Thursday, August 15th, 2013 Would you like to receive e-mail alerts when we have breaking news? Click here!
WHEELING, W.Va. — The Project Future Two-a-Days program visited another high school on Wednesday, as student-athletes from Wheeling Central Catholic heard about dangerous drugs and the impact that sexual assault has upon a victim.
United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld, II, led the presentation with assistance from Linda Reeves, the Executive Director of the Upper Ohio Valley Sexual Assault Help Center. The crowd also heard from special guest Clayton Fitzsimmons, whose law firm represents the victim of a sexual assault that occurred last year in Ohio.
Reeves explained why it’s important for her organization to be a part of this initiative.
“We’ve partnered with Project Future Two-a-Days in order to raise awareness about rape and sexual violence among teens and adolescents,” said Reeves. “My staff and I can help to define what sexual violence is and to educate teens about what to do if faced with a situation where they or someone else is a victim or witness to sexual violence.”
Fitzsimmons shared with the crowd the challenges faced by survivors of sexual assault.
“Sexual assault has a profound and permanent impact on victims and their families,” said Fitzsimmons. “It’s important for young people to remember that one bad decision can have implications that last a lifetime for those who have been harmed.”
Head Football Coach Mike Young of Wheeling Central was thankful that the program came to his school.
“We appreciate the interest taken by the U.S. Attorney’s office in teaching our students these important lessons,” said Young, who also serves as athletic director at Central. “Sometimes young people need to hear the message from someone other than a parent or teacher and so when federal prosecutors offer to come in and speak we take advantage of the opportunity.”
According to Reeves, the Upper Ohio Valley Sexual Assault Help Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance to the community in dealing with the crime of sexual assault. Services include crisis intervention, advocacy, support services, individual and group counseling, and community education. The Center primarily serves Wetzel, Brooke, Marshall, Ohio and Hancock counties in West Virginia. In Ohio, Jefferson and Belmont counties are served. The Center does not refuse services to anyone regardless of where they reside, and all victim services are provided free of charge.
Project Future Two-a-Days combines the issues of dangerous drugs, sexual assault awareness, and social media responsibility into one presentation for male and female teens. High schools and colleges that are interested in the program are encouraged to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 304-234-0100 to schedule a presentation. These efforts will continue into the fall and will be available to all students within the Northern District of West Virginia, regardless of whether they are involved in athletics.