We need to uplift the self-confidence of our teens and this is just the perfect program to do that.
- Andrew Raia, New York State Assemblyman
The "I Matter" project is a way for my peers and I to connect on a personal level through sharing what matters to me and why I matter to myself. In high school, kids are often trying to prove to others why they matter for many superficial reasons, but this project allowed me to share why I actually think I am important.
- Samantha Glicker, High School Student
It's allowing our local teens to be seen and heard in a very positive light - a way we are hoping their fellow students will be inspired and see good decisions could lead to better things in their lives.
- Candace Reeder, Director of Teen Services, Northport Public Library
My 9th grade daughter has been having an invaluable experience working on the "I Matter" project. As a parent, I couldn't be happier with the results, both for her personally and for the community! The "I Matter" program provides an extremely positive and effective way for young people to communicate a message of self-empowerment and confidence directly to their peers.
- Filiz Turhan, Parent of "I Matter" participant
I am impressed with their ability to engage youth to be a part of the team that develops and executes the plan on every level. They empower teens to be a change agent in their community.
- Anthony Ferrandino, Drug and alcohol counselor, Northport, NY
I specifically recall talking to a friend about our biggest goals, fears, and accomplishments, and thinking about how special it was that this program facilitated a conversation that I'll always remember. Taking each other's pictures and seeing them blown up with empowering statements makes us all feel like we are part of something bigger, and shows us that we really are able to make a difference.
-Liz Corrao, Huntington High School Senior
It's very dramatic to see the pictures on a large scale... people driving by will be able to see this from a far. "I matter" is really putting the "community" in community library.
- James Olney, Director of Northport East Northport Public Library
We need something like this, the schools need something like this, certainly families need something like this, and most importantly, our kids need something like this.
- Jeff Reynolds, Executive Director, Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
We're trying to encourage kids to make their own decisions and stand up to people.
- Brittany Rohrssen, Northport High School Senior
It's taken over our lives lately in the best way possible, It's become a big thing to us.
- Ceylan Tudor, Northport High School Freshman
I work in Huntington and I went to Portofino for pizza and the guy in the recognized me from the Verizon commercial. And when I went back to work, very surprised that this guy recognized me, I told my boss and her husband. They then made me show them the commercial online. Probably the coolest thing that's happened this year. It's a good feeling to know that someone somewhere is seeing the message we said and understanding that there is a serious drug epidemic and we can no longer run from it. I'm glad to have done this project and look forward to pushing it into the high school. Personally, the project has a lot of meaning to me and some don't understand what a big deal it really is.
- Casey Burke, Northport High School
When I first signed up for the "I matter" project, I didn't know what to expect. I knew what the topic was but I didn't know how we were going to make people aware of it. After the first few meetings I realized how important the "I matter" project was, and how it will impact our community greatly. Being a participant of the project has really opened my eyes to the amount of impact this project has. Not only for Northport but for other towns as well.
- Sophia Rizzo, Northport High School
This program embraces young adults and encourages them to believe in themselves, guiding them to be open and communicate with their peers and elders. Our daughter's quote is I Matter, because I care. She's a leader and has a positive attitude because she knows that she matters and her voice is heard!
- Terry and Brien Sullivan
The "I matter" project on its surface it's exposing and even embarrassing having your face blown up for everyone to see. I myself am not one who loves to have their picture taken but I knew this time it was for a greater cause. The project is a way for my peers and I to connect on a personal level through sharing what matters to me, and why I matter to myself. In high school you are often trying to prove to others why you matter for many superficial reasons but this project allowed me to share why I actually think I am important. I hope to help others open up about the little things others don't know about them in order for everyone to feel they matter in their own unique way. None of the images say the same things because we all have different reasons why we are important. This movement allowed me to find value in myself and others. I hope through this project I can become closer with my peers and help them from turning to drugs as a way of escaping who they are.
-Samantha Glicker, Huntington High School Senior
The "I matter" Project was a great opportunity to see how our community can rise to the challenge of working together, to turn an unfortunate situation that everyone wants to slip under the rug turn into a huge discussion and beautiful part of us all. Being on the committee for the Kickstarter website was a huge responsibility, and the best one I've ever taken on. I think the project really made an impact because it's been so dependent on the children in it, and taken care of by people who were really invested in it.
- Ceylania Tudor, Kickstarter Committee Northport Library, Northport High School Freshman
I am so appreciative that my son, Justin LoTurco, has been able to be a part of the "I matter" project. This project is so valuable, as it undoubtedly helps to improve a person's feeling of self-worth and the confidence that teens so desperately need. It certainly has benefitted Justin in that regard. Watching how this program brings together different children from the community and helps them to realize why each of them truly matter, is an experience that is going to benefit them for a lifetime. The "I matter" project is a tremendous asset to our community and our children. Building confidence and peer relationships, is something that, as parents, we work so hard to achieve. After observing how this project works along the same path, I am so thankful that Justin has been able to invest his time in such a worthy way. Dangerous and powerful drugs are becoming so prevalent among our teen children. Helping them feel more worthy and confident, so that they are able to realize they don't need drugs to feel good about themselves, is priceless.
- Donna LoTurco