Project Graduation emerged in the Oxford Hills area (Paris/Norway) of Maine, in 1980, the result of community energies empowered through a state initiative. It has long since been recognized as a prototype for the nation, helping to protect the lives of graduating seniors in all states. Many high schools across the country now offer a safe post graduation party as an alternative to other parties that may offer alcohol and drugs.
The primary aims of Project Graduation activities are to increase awareness of the dangers of drinking, drugging and driving and to reduce the number of youth involved in alcohol and other drug-related highway crashes. Across the country, Project Graduation and the chemical-free celebrations it inspired are the new traditions for graduating seniors. In Perspectives in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Project Graduation- Maine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention observed that “Project Graduation has become much more than an event that occurs on graduation night. It is a community wide planning process that strives to create a caring, supportive environment and more open communication between youths and adults.”
All school related functions are supposed to be chemical free, but what makes Project Graduation different is the attitude of the students. They have made a conscious decision to enjoy their graduation night without alcohol or other drugs. And no other group, including parents and school personnel, can make that decision for students.