Mark Wahlberg Foundation Executive Director and A&E star Jim Wahlberg spoke to Notre Dame Academy students about addiction. Speaking to over 600 hundred students, Mr. Wahlberg shared his story of addiction and the signs that parents and peers often miss.
His film titled, “If Only” was shown. Jim Wahlberg has produced six films about the devastating consequences of addiction and hopes parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and clergy use these films to teach kids about the dangers of opioid addiction. Lavin Schwan, of Bellevue, Ohio, also spoke and shared the story of her son who was lost to addiction. Joey’s story chronicled her son’s experimentation with opiates that lead to his untimely death from heroin.
Both speakers expressed their commitment, belief, and faith in God that got them through their journey and continues to inspire them to share their message and stories. They were both greeted with hugs and support from students and faculty after the presentation.
Freshman Josie Jurek said, “After listening to the presentations, it really got me thinking of what I would do if I had a friend who was in trouble. Our lunch table talked about their stories and we didn’t realize how bad opioid addiction was, even here in our area.”
Mr. Wahlberg is executive director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation; whose mission is to assist youth to ensure that no child is limited or prevented from attaining their lifetime goal or dream due to financial circumstances. Brother of actor Mark Wahlberg, Jim Wahlberg also stars alongside his brothers in the A&E series Wahlbergers.