Schedule an Assembly
READ THE STORIES BEHIND THEIR MESSAGES
PAT & ANNMARIE D'ALISO
Pat D’Aliso – Head Football Coach, Monroe-Woodbury (retired)
AnnMarie D’Aliso – AFSP Board Member
AnnMarie D’Aliso and her husband, Pat, a successful high school football coach and health teacher, lost their son. Patrick, to suicide at 16 years of age. How did they not see that their son was suffering from undiagnosed depression? Why did his friends ignore the warning signs? By sharing their story they hope that other lives may be saved.
After an inner city gang-related shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down, fifteen-year-old Hashim was filled with plans for violent revenge. Forgiving his perpetrator was the key that enabled him to transcend his anger and become a powerful motivational speaker for nonviolent conflict resolution.
Chief of Police, Cornwall-on-Hudson (retired)
A successful career in law enforcement masked the pain Charles Williams experienced growing up as the son of a raging alcoholic. Decades of bitter hate was destroying him and his family. Finally forgiving his mother brought healing.
PATTI ANN & CONOR MCDONALD
Patti Ann McDonald – Former Mayor of Malverne, NYConor McDonald – Sergeant, NYPD
Patti Ann McDonald, together with her son, Conor tell the story of their late husband and father NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot while on duty and paralyzed fromthe neck down. Steven’s remarkable journey from anger to peace began with a decision to forgive his attacker.
Randi’s brother, Ryan, struggled with a progressive addiction to prescription drugs before eventually dying from a heroin overdose at age 24. Forgiveness was key as Randi dealt with both shared guilt and tragic loss. She now works passionately to bring awareness to the growing epidemic of opioid addiction.
Kareem was born on May 21, 1982 and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He is the youngest of three brothers, raised by two Christian parents. He graduated from Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn in June of 2000. After graduating from high school, he attended college in Orangeburg, SC. At college he started in the fast lane: partying, women, drugs, alcohol. On the way home for a Christmas Break, he shared a blunt with a fellow traveler, a questionable character. Several days later he came down with flu-like symptoms and was diagnosed with Bacterial Meningitis. Kareem survived, one of the one percent, but lost his hands. After his recovery, Kareem had two major goals, which were to write his autobiography, now accomplished; and to continue his college career, which he is now doing. He has a bright outlook for his future.
Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor
Mike O’Shea grew up on the streets of Queens, NY, heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol. He recovered through the intervention of someone who believed in him, and devoted his life to helping youth in trouble. Now sober for over 3 decades, Mike is a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. He volunteers at local jails and detox programs and gives hope to others struggling through the hells of addiction. Mike has been married for 33 years and is proud of his triplet daughters and two granddaughters.
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LMSW, Founder of S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth
A former gang member from the most violent town on Long Island, Sergio knows well the need for belonging and the battle for survival that plagues so many teens. Now he is a passionate advocate for gang-prevention, and his intervention agency S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth seeks to transform the lives of at-risk young people.