Chris Herren shares his story

by Andrea Ricker, Editor-in-Chief

Inspirational. Chris Herren speaks to students about drug and alcohol addiction. Herren is a former NBA player whose career was ruined by his addictions. "If I can help one kid, it'll be worth it."
Herren Project
Inspirational. Chris Herren speaks to students about drug and alcohol addiction. Herren is a former NBA player whose career was ruined by his addictions. “If I can help one kid, it’ll be worth it.”

MHS Principal Mr. Hurlebrink was part of the team that helped bring Herren to Macon County, along with MHS guidance counselor Ms. Johnson who stated that, “it’s always important to maintain awareness in our students.” Last spring, Hurelbrink was contacted about helping to bring the Herren Project to Macon County. During the summer, Johnson attended meetings to make this event possible.

“I liked how [he didn’t just talk about addiction] and I particularly focused on […] how he got started. Day one, being in your parents’ basement, being out in the woods just starting with smoking marijuana and drinking and then eventually moving on to harder stuff and how it kept escalating,” Johnson said, “And how it affected others besides himself.”

“It’ll put things in perspective,” says senior SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) member Amy Aukamp. “Just knowing peer pressure is more than what people talk about.”

Herren’s story was very real because he talked about how his addiction started . “My mom thought I was different, my dad thought I was special,” Herren said at the assembly.  He also talked about how he was just like all the students there. The students who thought it was just another assembly and how it could “never happen to them.”

“To be quite honest everyone thinks this is about drugs. That this is about alcohol. This is about confidence. This is about self-esteem,” Herren stated.

After Herren shared his story, he opened the floor for questions, where a lot of students- even a teacher- asked for advice and shared personal experience with addiction. The assembly hit home for a lot of people, and most people didn’t expect it to.

“I think it hit a lot of people pretty hard,” Aukamp adds, “even though some people got emotional, I think it’s what they needed and it was good for them to let their feelings out.”

Hurlebrink also adds, “He got involved in something he couldn’t control, and unfortunately I think that happens to kids. You don’t think it’ll impact you, or you think it’ll be a one time thing. [And in his case] it’s 15 years later and his world’s falling apart.”