Thank you Port Jervis Middle School for welcoming Breaking the Cycle to your school.  It was a privilege that we were joined today by Orange County DA David Hoovler, as well as representatives from the Port Jervis PD and OC Youth Bureau. Today's assembly with Hashim Garrett, Ann Marie D'Aliso and Charles Williams about forgiving and letting go is important, may it help you to move in a positive direction with your lives.

Article written by the Port Jervis City School District

Introduction by Orange County DA David Hoovler"

I’m here today because as DA my job is to make sure all of you are safe and that the people who commit crimes are punished and receive reasonable sentences.  But more importantly, I wholeheartedly I support this program, I support its mission and I support the cause.  What I want to make sure is that everyone here understands that today you’re going to hear from three very compelling people.  All three come from very, very different backgrounds, but what they have in common is that all of them have suffered some personal tragedy at one point in their lives for which they take responsibility.  It’s about what they did with that tragedy – they’ve taken the tragedy that they suffered and they are bringing the message to you and to other people that these tragedies can be turned into positive effects, not only for them personally, but for other people too, including you.  I’m here to tell you that the number of lives they have each touched and for whom they have made a difference, cannot be measured. 

So listen to the message they give.  Listen to what they have to tell you - ‘if you have a problem, seek help.’  Listen to all of the things they say because what you hear and learn here today can affect and change you, but more importantly it can help you to affect and change somebody else; perhaps save somebody, and perhaps improve your community.  That’s what we’re about.  And most importantly, look at who you have here - a former police chief, a former gang member, and a community activist who has started a very, very important non-for-profit.  You have your law enforcement, you have your school administration and staff and you have me here, your District Attorney.  We’re here to make sure you’re safe.  We’re here to make sure you succeed and do well with your lives.    Thank you.

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