FBI Pittsburgh
Public Affairs Officer Catherine Policicchio
(412) 432-4291
April 5, 2021

FBI Pittsburgh Congratulates HOPE PSA Winners

FBI Pittsburgh would like to congratulate the winners of our sixth annual Heroin Outreach Prevention and Education initiative or HOPE PSA contest. Opioid abuse and heroin remain at pandemic levels across Western Pennsylvania. In response, FBI Pittsburgh partnered with key community stakeholders, including the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, to form this program. This year we also welcomed partners from the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, CentiMark, Levitt Legacy, Gateway Rehab, and The Bradley Center. Together, alongside our community partners, the FBI Pittsburgh HOPE Initiative strives to formulate proactive solutions, particularly in areas of education, prevention and awareness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact our world in unpredictable ways. Virtual schooling and social isolation have had a catastrophic effect on mental health and increased the risk for substance abuse. Overdoses and mental health crises are worsening, and our world continues to present challenges that require us all to reinvent our daily lives, routines, and goals. For this reason, our theme this year went a little deeper. We asked students to create a 1 to 3 minute video looking at the following questions:

Throughout these unsettling times, what are the everyday challenges young adults face this academic year, and why do young adults choose to self-medicate? How can young adults choose a safer coping method?

“We wanted students to remember that anyone can turn their bad decisions into good ones at any given moment,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Carlton Peeples. “These videos gave students a chance to think about the stressors we all face in life from anxiety to fear and isolation and loss of control. I’m so proud of the videos all the students put together and for our partners for continuing to support this important program.”

“We are honored to partner with the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association for another year to combat opioid addiction within Western Pennsylvania,” said Jim Britt, executive director of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. ‘Our hope is that these PSA videos bring awareness and educate students about the dangers of drug misuse, and how to steer clear of them, in order to live a life of physical and mental wellness.”

“The Levitt Legacy is proud to be a sponsor of the HOPE PSA Video Contest. We found that the contest is a great way to educate students on the Opioid Epidemic while providing a creative outlook and rewarding activity for the students to become involved with. These videos are then used to educate others about this horrible epidemic,” said Barb Levitt, Founder of Levitt Legacy

The winners will receive monetary gifts from our partners, including CentiMark, Levitt Legacy, Gateway Rehab and The Bradley Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation is also providing gift packages for the students, including a Pens Duffle Bag, bobble heads and hat.

Here is a list of the winners with a direct link to the winning video.

First Place:

  • South Fayette Township School District
  • South Fayette High School: This is Temporary, Addiction Isn't
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6f01J4UuSE

Second Place:

  • Indiana County Technology Center: The Darkness:
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CS7frmlubg

Third Place:

  • Forest Hills School District-Cambria County
  • Forest Hills High School: Blink of an Eye
  • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YDw0t4tz6EY

This year,16 videos from nine school districts across eight different counties in Western Pennsylvania were submitted. For more information on the HOPE initiative and to view all the videos, click here: https://fbipghcaaa.org/hope/youth/psacontest/

For media inquiries please call (412) 396-9504 or e-mail cpolicicchio@fbi.gov