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Enka High: Above the Influence
Enka High: Above the Influence
Posted on 09/13/2019
A collage showing the Above the Influence event at Enka High.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Enka High School students show that their generation is determined to end America’s opioid crisis.

On Sept. 4-5, Enka High partnered with Above the Influence to raise awareness about the dangers of substances abuse in the local community, state, and nation. All four grade levels gathered separately in the auditorium to learn the science, statistics, and personal cost of addiction. Speakers encouraged students to have strong character, support each other, and do good in their communities.

“Adolescence is a significant time,” said Kallup McCoy, of RezHOPE Recovery. “We need to have hard conversations so we can have an impact on the opioid epidemic.”

He and his wife, Katelynn, shared powerful personal stories of addiction, recovery, and redemption. Bob Cummings, of Red Oak Recovery, spoke about the biochemical side of addiction, and Buncombe County EMS Training Officer Jamie Judd shared the scope of the opioid problem in Asheville and Buncombe County.

“The problem is still here,” Judd said. “It’s in our community.”

Enka High senior Michelle Aguilar is part of a student team that helped plan the Above the Influence event. She said she appreciated the speakers’ perspectives.

“They had emotional stories, and I hope they inspire students to get involved in doing something,” she said. “You can do a project about it for a class, join a club, or volunteer with an organization that’s trying to help people. There is hope for the future if we keep making progress, keep making changes, and work in the fields that can affect this.”

Fellow student organizer Gavin Vascellaro said he was moved by the McCoys’ personal recovery stories. He’s aware of the opioid crisis, and he wants to make a difference.

“Events like this – people bringing it to life for the younger generations – I think it’s going to make a difference,” he said. “I want to be part of something good and stand against this.”

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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