HCC, a community initiative of Cape Assist, is striving to increase protective factors and reduce risk factors for substance abuse for youth in our community. This year’s topics will focus on the importance of staying drug-free and building resilience!

The contest is open to all students in grades K-12 in Cape May County.

(Younger students may need the help of an adult to discuss and choose a topic from one of the four topics below)


Students are invited to create a poster/art PSA or a 60-second video (or less), or a written PSA on one of the following four topics (click on each topic to see details and fact sheet):

Entries are due on or before Wednesday, March 30th

Each winner and one guest will be invited to Cape Assist’s Public Policy and Awards Breakfast where they will be recognized. The breakfast will be held on Tue, April 26th at Avalon Links restaurant, 8:30-10:30am.

Winning PSAs will be used at Cape Assist functions and workshops and may be chosen to be displayed on Cape Assist’s and HCC’s social media pages as well as sponsored radio spots

Before you start your PSA

visit the rules, requirements, and eligibility



Rules & Eligibility:

  • The contest is only open to students in grades K-12th residing in Cape May County or enrolled in a school in Cape May County.

  • Students must select one of the four topics listed at the top of the page for their PSA. Each topic has a description/fact sheet.

  • PSA may not contain the following: profanity, nudity, promoting drinking, drugs, death, or violence.

  • Complete and submit an entry by using the submission below at the bottom of this section.

  • For group projects, every student will need to submit the consent form through the submission process. A group PSA will be recognized as one PSA (you may write the names of the other participants on a piece of paper and upload it as the submission if the PSA video has already been submitted).

  • The parent/guardian consent form completion will be required during the submission process.

  • Only one entry per student is permitted.

  • Deadline: Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

  • Any entries submitted after the deadline or without an entry form will be considered invalid.

  • Winners will be chosen by a committee from CMC Healthy Community Coalition based on relevance to theme, factual information, and creativity. Good luck to all and thank you for your participation!

Requirements for video PSA:

  • Video PSA will only be accepted in the following formats: MP4, AVI, MOV, WMV

  • Video PSA should be limited to 60 seconds or less.

  • PSA must include a title and “produced by” at the beginning or end of the video (this will be included in the 60-second video limit).

  • Ensure that background music/noise does not overpower or distract any important speaking parts of the PSA. Actors in the PSA should speak loud and clear.

  • Check PSA audio to ensure that it is loud and clear enough at a normal volume range.

Requirements for Poster/Art PSA:

  • Poster/Art will only be accepted in the following formats: PDF, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, PNG.

  • Check for spelling and grammar.

  • For students submitting a photograph of their meme, poster, or art, please check the lighting and clarity of the photo before submitting.


Requirements for a written PSA:

  • Written PSA will only be accepted in the following formats: PDF, DOC, DOCX

  • Written PSA must have a title.

  • Your written PSA should be 250 words or less.

For any questions or assistance, please contact Natalia at




PSA Topic: I Feel Safe When…



In this PSA, let’s talk about being inclusive and creating safe spaces for everyone.


Here are some questions to help you get started:


  • What makes you feel safe when you are around other people?


  • How can you tell when your social environment is safe and inclusive?


  • How can we create an environment where people can express themselves and know they will be respected even if they are different from someone else?

PSA Topic: Self-Care during Tough Times



In this PSA, invite people to explore ways to take care of oneself during tough times.

Here are some ideas to get you started:


  • What’s your recipe for self-care?


  • What are some healthy coping skills that you have? (for example, deep breathing, walks, exercise, talking to a friend, art, etc.)


  • “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” Sometimes, it may be possible to turn something negative into positive by looking at the bright side of things and making the best out of a difficult situation.  


So, what do you do when “life gives you lemons”?


  • Everyone has tough times. It’s important to check in on one another. It might take you a minute, but may mean the world to someone else.    


How can we support a friend?

PSA Topic: What Would You Like Your Parent to Know?



In this PSA, we’d like you to address parents and adults in your life and talk about what it’s like being “in your shoes”.

  • What stresses you out? What inspires you?

  • What works best in supporting you? What doesn’t work?

No one can deny that today’s world is very different from the world when your parents were your age. Technology and social media have changed the way we interact and even perceive ourselves. Social media put a spotlight on our lives 24 hours a day. The stress of Covid is another factor that adults didn’t have to deal with when they were in middle or high school.

However, even though it might seem that adults don’t understand today’s world of young people, parents and other caring adults play an important role in the wellbeing of younger generation.

 So, in this PSA you can express what you’d like your parents/adults to know to help you be well.

PSA Topic: Why I Choose to Be Drug-Free



In this PSA, you can talk about what’s important to you and what helps you stay on the right path. You can explore how having goals and working toward achieving them plays a big role in making good decisions.

Knowing the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol helps people make good decisions. So, we are providing you with some information on that.

  • Drugs affect children and adolescents in a much more negative way than adults. It is because the brain of a young person is not fully developed until the age of 25 years old.

  • All drugs will affect a person’s judgment, ability to form new memories, learning, reaction time, impulse control, and decision making.

And here are some other facts:


  • If you drink alcohol before the age of 15, you are 5 times more likely to be alcohol dependent than someone who waited until the drinking legal age of 21.

  • Drinking 5 alcoholic beverages in one night can affect your thinking ability for up to 3 days.

  • Research shows teens that drink score lower on tests than teens that do not and are more likely to perform poorly at school.

  • About 1,900 people under 21 die every year from car crashes involving underage drinking. Drinking and driving is not safe at any speed.

  • Alcohol consumption decreases speed, endurance, strength, and concentration; all key factors in the success of an athlete.

  • One time getting drunk equals 14 days of lost training effects (for sports). Your individual decision to drink alcohol would affect the entire team.

THC / Marijuana

  • Marijuana is a mind-altering (psychoactive) drug produced by the Cannabis Sativa plant. THC is the main chemical ingredient that produces the psychoactive effect.

  • Marijuana is highly addictive. 1 in 6 youth marijuana users become addicted.

  • Marijuana changes brain structure. It also lowers a person’s IQ if they smoke it regularly in their teen years.

  • Marijuana is linked to school failure. Students who smoke marijuana tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of school.

  • Drivers testing positive for marijuana are over 2 times more likely to be involved in a crash.