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UFT virtual field trip for 1,000 New York City students

Teens learn coping skills through music from Road Recovery and artist Darryl “DMC” McDaniels
Press Releases

Students from more than 150 New York City middle and high schools will learn emotional coping skills through music during a virtual field trip, “Let’s Talk About It."

More than 1,000 city teens are expected to experience the hour-long event that will be streamed at noon on Thursday, June 11. The virtual field trip is designed to provide students with strategies and peer support to combat the emotional toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

Darryl McDaniels, the legendary artist of the music group Run-DMC, will share his message of hope and possibility. View the promo »

Road Recovery, a New York City-based music industry-driven nonprofit will present video performances and shoutouts by its creative artists from across New York State. Road Recovery helps at-risk teens battling addiction and other adversities through the efforts of entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar issues.

Youth Voices Matter-New York, a statewide youth recovery movement that collaborates with Road Recovery, will provide resources and interactive social media platforms for youth outreach.

Stephen Dewey, a neuroscientist and research professor at the New York University School of Medicine, will speak about the importance of mental health awareness during these unprecedented times.

Reporters will be able to interview DMC, Dewey, and performers from Road Recovery and Youth Voices Matter New York as well as students who take part in the field trip.

Copies of "Let's Talk About It" will be available starting at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 11.

Opening remarks will be made by Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), and Robert Ferrell, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general who now serves as vice president of Public Sector Strategy for St. Louis-based technology solutions provider World Wide Technology (WWT).

WWT is providing streaming services to support the event.

“Our students need our support now more than ever,” said Mulgrew. “Using music as a way to deal with stress and heartbreak is a powerful message for our kids. We are proud to partner with such talented musicians and business leaders on this virtual field trip,” Mulgrew said.

“World Wide Technology is honored to play a role in bringing students and educators together to increase students’ resilience in a newly physically distanced world,” said Ferrell.

Road Recovery founders Gene Bowen and Jack Bookbinder said: "For 22 years, Road Recovery has been delivering peer support services to at-risk youth facing adversities. As we have seen firsthand, a thought leader like Darryl “DMC” McDaniels can make a big difference as he shares his time, experience, and treasure with students. This is a great demonstration of how Road Recovery's fundamental approach of uniting the worlds of behavioral health services with the music and entertainment industries, which has widespread applications in the existing education structure.”

"With the support of WWT, the UFT and Gov. Cuomo’s NYS-Office of Addiction Services and Supports, Road Recovery delivers our unique, evidence-based, awarded and long-tested service curriculum to students anywhere, anytime with no limitations of geography or pandemic safety protocols. And once again, like many of our celebrity supporters, Darryl McDaniels shows up as a solution provider, bridge builder and as a pillar of community support."

The event is sponsored by the UFT's Member Assistance Program (MAP), Road Recovery, World Wide Technology, the NYC Department of Education Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialists program, the UFT’s Positive Learning Collaborative, the UFT’s United Community Schools and Seafield Center, Inc., a drug and alcohol treatment center.

This is the second year that the UFT’s MAP program has organized a youth mental health and wellness conference.