top of page






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

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 by Thursday, March 23, 2023

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 25th, 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








Ready to submit your PSA?

Legal/Parent Guardian Waiver & Consent Form

(only for minors who submitted a group PSA)



Rules & Eligibility:

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

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

  • Above the Influence

  • Dear Me…

  • Let’s Connect

  • Valuing Diversity

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

  • Submit PSA entry at by the deadline date (Thursday, March 23, 2023).

  • Only one entry per student or group is permitted.

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

  • Parent consent is required with each PSA entry submission.

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, and 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, JPEG, and PNG.

  • Written PSA must have a title, name, grade, and school on top of the document.

  • Your written PSA should be 300 words or less.

For any questions or assistance, please contact Natalia at

Rules & Eligibility


PSA Topic: Let's Connect!



This PSA should emphasize the importance of human connection and ways to connect with other people.

The increasing use of social media and the recent pandemic has made the issue of isolation worse. What can we do to improve the situation? What are your ideas for connecting with other people?


Below are a few points to help you generate some ideas:

  • Human beings are deeply social. Our brain is wired for connection with other people. In the early days of humanity, being with other people was critical for our survival (protection from wild animals, hunting together, caring for the young, etc), and our brain still perceives loneliness as a threat although it’s not a literal threat anymore. And this may cause many uncomfortable or even painful feelings.

  • Human connection is a bond that’s formed between people when they feel seen/heard and valued.

  • Connecting with other people gives us a sense of belonging.

  • Having a strong support system helps people overcome challenges more easily and maintain a state of mental well-being.

  • Human connection improves and supports physical well-being as well.

  • The stress of disconnection contributes to addiction, anxiety, depression, and many physical ailments.

  • Connection is a disposition you have toward people—it’s more of a mindset than a relationship status. It’s the way you treat friends, family, or the person in the Burger King checkout line. Do you aim to really see, know, and value people? And do you let others see, know and value you? (Dr. John Delony)

  • Communication doesn’t always equal connection. An example of it could be social media platforms like Snapchat or Instagram. Just because someone has “friends” or followers there, and they communicate, does it always mean that they are truly connecting?

Let's Connect!

PSA Topic: Above the Influence



This PSA should focus on the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol on children and adolescents.

All drugs will affect a person’s judgment, ability to form new memories, learning, reaction time, impulse control, and decision-making. Drugs are especially harmful to young people because the brain of a young person is not fully developed until the age of 25 years old.                                                                                                                                              
So, It’s Legal, So What?

  • Marijuana has been legalized for adult use; however, it changes nothing for youth. It is illegal to buy or use marijuana for those who are under 21. It is also illegal for adults to provide marijuana products to those who are under 21.

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

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

  • Marijuana can have permanently damaging effects on developing brains. It can lower a person’s IQ if they use it regularly in their teen years.

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

  • Frequent marijuana use has been linked to depression, paranoia, and anxiety.

  • Playing sports or video games? – marijuana can affect timing, coordination, and movement and weaken someone’s performance.

  • Longtime marijuana users report being less satisfied with their lives, having memory and relationship problems, poorer mental and physical health, and less career success.

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


  • It is illegal to buy or consume alcohol under the age of 21. It is also illegal for adults to provide alcohol to those who are under 21.

  • If a person drinks alcohol before the age of 15, they 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 a person’s thinking ability for up to 3 days.

  • Research shows that teens who drink score lower on tests than those who don’t and are more likely to perform poorly at school or even drop out of school.

  • Alcohol consumption lowers speed, endurance, strength, and concentration - all key factors in an athlete’s success.

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

  • Underage drinking can result in other negative consequences such as alcohol poisoning, alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, other injuries, legal problems, etc.

Tobacco and Vaping

  • The legal age to purchase tobacco or vape products is 21.

  • Teenagers who vape and use e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) are more likely to try cigarettes and other tobacco products.

  • Nicotine in either tobacco or vaping liquids is very addictive.

  • You can start feeling addicted after smoking only a few cigarettes or after smoking only for a few days. It is so addictive that hardly anyone succeeds in quitting. Only about 1 out of every 20 who try to quit is able to make it tobacco-free for a year. People who start smoking when they’re young have the hardest time quitting.

  • There are thousands of toxic chemicals in cigarette or vaping products. They affect the health of a person’s lungs, and some of them can cause cancer.

  • Teens who smoke have many more colds, coughs, throat, and nose problems than those who don’t.

  • Lung cancer kills more people than any other kind of cancer.

  • Smoking cigarettes and vaping are major risk factors for a heart attack.

  • Smoking causes bad breath, stains teeth and tongue, and helps tartar build-up on teeth.

  • Teens who smoke are more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety problems, and depression.

Above the Influence
Dear Me...

PSA Topic: Dear Me...



In this PSA, create a message to yourself from your FUTURE self. Imagine you had the ability to talk to yourself (as you are now) from your future perspective.


Here are a few questions that might help you generate some ideas:

  • What would you say to your young self? What advice would you give yourself about what’s really important and what is not worth worrying about now?

  • Do you think you are making smart decisions in the present? What do you think your Future Self would say about the choices you are making today?


Use your imagination and have fun with this topic!

PSA Topic: Valuing Diversity



In this PSA, explore the idea of why we need to appreciate and celebrate diversity!

We live in one of the most, if not the most, diverse countries. So, the idea of diversity and differences is not new to anyone. In fact, it’s part of who we all are. Even in your closest circle of friends, you’ll find so many differences. Unfortunately, though, sometimes people view it as something negative.

But imagine a world where everyone looked the same, dressed the same, and acted the same. Does that sound like fun? What would happen to us then? Often, it’s the people who think differently that invent new things, create progress, and move the world forward.


It’s ok to notice differences between ourselves and others; it’s how a human brain works. However, judging or excluding people for being different not only hurts others but also stops us in our own development, interferes with openness, and stops us from trying new things and having new experiences.

In your PSA, talk about the importance of diversity and explore ways in which diversity can be celebrated. Encourage the audience to not only respect but enjoy diversity!

Valuing Diversity
bottom of page