Plan a Program
The HAPPY Week program is designed for high schools and middle schools.
The program begins with a video introducing the topic to the audience. It is followed by an interview-style format including a powerful first segment with a recovering heroin addict, then an emotional conversation with a parent who lost a child to heroin and closes with a group conversation and audience Q&A.
If you are interested in bringing it to your school, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to preview the program, please contact us for a list of upcoming program dates in the New Jersey area.
Benjamin Franklin MS has had H.A.P.P.Y. Week presented to our 8th grades since 2016. The presentation by Melissa and her sister, Stephanie, has been a real-life application to what the students are learning during their drug and alcohol unit in health. The format of the presentation is professional, eye-opening, and heartfelt, which allows our students to see the dangers of substance abuse. We will continue to use Melissa’s presentation as a vital resource for our wellness program.
Donna Skettini, Wellness, Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Ridgewood
The HAPPY Week assembly is what today’s students need. They need to hear information from authentic sources who have first hand knowledge of the topics being discussed. My students were thoroughly engaged with all of the speakers and asked relevant and well thought out questions. It was a topic that is talked about in health classes, but the speakers were able to make it real for them. It was an incredible experience for our students….thank you, Melissa!
Brian Wilson, School Counselor at Borough School, Morris Plains
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to present three H.A.P.P.Y. Week assemblies to our students. Your presentations were outstanding! The students were engaged and actively listening. You could hear a pin drop in the auditorium. Our drug/Heroin epidemic is such an important topic to address with adolescents. It is even more meaningful when it is presented by a fellow teenager. You are making a difference Stephanie and we are all very grateful!
Craig Rush, Student Assistance Counselor at Midland Park Jr/Sr High School
I truly can not thank you enough for yesterday’s assembly. I have never seen in my 12 years of teaching more positive feedback from an assembly. The entire school is still buzzing today about how powerful, emotional and informative the HAPPY Week Assembly was. You should be beyond proud about what you are doing- young people often think their voices can not be heard but you are living proof that sometimes your voices are heard even louder. You have not only provided our students with incredibly important information but also have been a positive role model for them.
Victoria Howe, PE & Health Teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Fair Lawn
Ridgewood Public Schools was fortunate to have H.A.P.P.Y. Week at both our middle schools. Stephanie’s program sends a clear message concerning the dangers of heroin and the impact it has on ones life, friends, and family. This presentation allows to continue the ongoing conversation on the dangers of addiction and substance abuse.
Robert Bell, Supervisor of Wellness, Ridgewood Public Schools
Our seventh and eighth graders attended the H.A.P.P.Y. program last week. Stephanie Reifman has produced an extremely informative program on a very important topic. The interview with the parent speaker, who lost her son to a heroin overdose, and the recovering addict are powerful. It was the perfect format to grab the student’s attention. I recommend this program highly to supplement substance abuse education.
Terry Buksar, Teacher at Ho-Ho-Kus Middle School
Stephanie’s HAPPY Week Program captured the attention of sixth through eighth graders, raising awareness and eliciting questions from students that continued the conversation of the dangers of heroin well after the presentation concluded. We were very lucky to have her!
Erica Ward, District School Counselor at Eisenhower Middle School, Wyckoff
We were lucky enough to host “Happy Week” as part of our Week of Respect observances. The program was full of great information that was further illustrated by the very personal and compelling stories told by the presenters. I would definitely recommend this program to other schools looking to educate students about the dangers of opiate addiction and substance abuse.
David Cuozzo, SAC Fort Lee Public Schools
Ms. Reifman puts forth an extraordinary message on the dangers of heroin addiction and provides an empowering message to our students about addressing an issue in one’s community.
Brian Hutchinson, Principal at Emerson Junior-Senior High School
The HAPPY Week program was able to capture the attention of students who otherwise may have tuned out the message of yet another drug and alcohol awareness assembly. The perspective of different people who have experienced both the struggles and devastating loss of addiction made the consequences of drug abuse real and emphasized the point that addiction can happen to anyone at any age. Stephanie’s work serves as a model and inspiration to her peers regarding the impact one person can make.
Danielle Helder, Student Assistant Coordinator at Glen Rock High School
While the topic of heroin is sensitive, we felt the H.A.P.P.Y. Week program, which was created and delivered by Stephanie when she was only 14 years old, was necessary due to the large issue of drugs, specifically heroin, in the surrounding communities and the recent deaths by young adults in New Jersey and around the country. It is our hope that this special presentation sheds some light on the dangers and realities of drug abuse and this will provide students with an opportunity to open a conversation with their parents or educators as needed.
Joe Keiser, Principal at Franklin Ave Middle School, Franklin Lakes
Stephanie Reifman’s H.A.P.P.Y program has been one of our most effective assemblies in our attempts to increase substance abuse awareness. What sets her program apart from the others is the interviews with people very similar to those in our own community. The feedback from students and staff have been extremely positive and I recommend this program wholeheartedly!
John Arlotta, Principal at Glen Rock High School