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Mahwah Municipal Alliance

September 01, 2015
10:06 AM

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Personal Courage
Jesse's Journey

  Jesse's Journey Photo

Program Description(1) 
Jesse’s Journey is presented by Maureen Morella, and her two children, Jesse and Tyler.  Jesse, 19, suffered severe and irreversible brain damage after a drug overdose in November, 2004 and survives today as a quadriplegic confined to a wheel chair.  Mrs. Morella bluntly and passionately uses Jesse’s story to focus children on the tragic consequences one bad decision with drugs or alcohol can create.  The Morella’s use a live, interactive discussion along with personal family video to deliver their message. 

What Jesse’s Journey Does (1)

Jesse’s Journey connects several ways.  Mrs. Morella demonstrates her understanding of the audience by stressing she knows kids will try to hide their drug use.  At different points in the program she says, “I know you think you’re getting over on your parents, your teachers, or even on some friends, but you don’t ever get over what has happened to my son Jesse.”  Taylor, 17, talks to the audience on a peer level, stressing his understanding of the pressure felt to experiment and offering himself as someone who can be contacted.  Most powerfully, Jesse, in his wheelchair, remains on stage throughout the presentation.  Pictures and videos of what life was like for their family before and after Jesse’s overdose are also used.   

The Jesse’s Journey Target Audience
Jesse’s Journey targets both students and parents.  Presentations have been made to children as young as the 6th grade and through all high school levels. 

Participant Cost
The program is free to all attendees. 

Jesse's Journey Parent Evaluation Form (PDF)


(1) All information provided courtesy of Morella Family  

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