Supporting Sobriety One English Project at a Time


The girls even went out of their way to attend one of F.A.N's annual fundraisers

Olivia King, Editor-In-Chief

Juniors Vanessa Curtis, McKenna Miele, and Caty Ward shaped an idea into a support group that has the potential to help teeangers all over ranging from the city of Fraser to Shelby Township.

At the end of sophomore year, all accelerated English students were given an assignment to create a hypothetical program within a current organization that would help someone achieve his or her American Dream. The girls’ project, F.R.A.M.E.S, focused on helping teenagers deal with addiction, whether personal or with family or friends, and offering a safe place to talk or gather support.

“In the beginning, we were just calling the group the A.P.G. which stands for Alternative Peer Group. After a few meetings McKenna, Caty, and I sat down and came up with our current name. It took a few hours to figure it out, and we had many other possible names, but we ended up with the name F.R.A.M.E.S. This name has many meanings for us. As an acronym, it literally means Friends Raising Awareness while Maintaining and Emphasizing Stability. The word F.R.A.M.E.S. itself represents a passage or portal into a better situation and that is what we were aiming for in the program,” Fraser High School Junior Vanessa Curtis said.  

On top of offering support with current addiction. F.R.A.M.E.S encourages the brighter side of quitting said addiction completely. The idea that sobriety can be just as fun as the high or relieved feeling is often a big topic of discussion.

“Our overall purpose of F.R.A.M.E.S is to show teens and young adults that they can have fun while being sober. Vanessa, Caty, and I wanted to create a support group specifically for teens who are struggling with addiction or has family members who struggle. We try and cover everything the goes alongside addiction: depression, suicidal thoughts, body image issues, etc.” Fraser High School Junior McKenna Miele said.

F.R.A.M.E.S is not the only support group offered to individuals affected by addictions. Families Against Narcotics, or F.A.N, has been an uprising organization since the early 2000s. Unfortunately with the spreading of various drugs reaching young students, F.A.N thought it would be appropriate to merge forces with the girls and create an even stronger support system.

“In the beginning of the F.R.A.M.E.S.  journey we had a meeting where we sat down with a F.A.N. representative, David Clayton. At this meeting we were introduced to the two people whom have had a big impact on the program: Scott Steenbergh and Andrew Fortunato. Scott and Andrew run a company called H.E.A.R.T. together, had a similar idea as us, and wanted to work together. In the past few months we have been meeting almost every Saturday at the Shelby office H.E.A.R.T. is located in,” Miele said.

Now that F.R.A.M.E.S had been properly officiated, the girls needed to start spreading awareness to their targeted age group. Fraser High School has several available health classes that helps educate teenagers on the dangers of drug and addiction. From there the girls even had the opportunity to speak at other events outside of the school.

“Thanks to F.A.N. and H.E.A.R.T. we have been able to speak at a few Fraser High School events and in multiple Health classes. Our main purpose when speaking to students our age is to tell them that no matter what going on, they are not alone. Addiction is a very common disease and we hope that when we talk and spread our message, people will have the desire to come to our group meetings and come to our events (in the past we have went to a haunted house, escape room, cider mill, and many recovery events)” Miele said.

The impact of both organizations have grown rapidly. The encouraging and supportive nature of every individual offering advice makes it easier for students to open up and get personal.

“We were first attracted to the idea of creating this group in our sophomore year and when we got to speak to the sophomore Health Classes, it was amazing to see the drive that stared back at us. Many students in High School don’t believe they have the power to change things. However, McKenna, Caty, and I chose to help teenagers our age and create a place for them, even when all hope seems to be lost. Many of the students we spoke to were in awe that students in their own school started something so big (We are still in awe that we started something so big) and a few of them approached us with their own stories, situations, and wanted to attend a group session with us. It make us feel very proud of F.R.A.M.E.S., because it’s making a change in our community every day, “ Curtis said.

As wonderful as the program has been progressing, the girls and members of F.A.N hope to extend their groups to reach places not just in Shelby Township but closer to Fraser and Macomb, places with populated high schools that may have children in need.

“ We are hoping to expand the program outside of the Shelby office and offer F.R.A.M.E.S. closer to the Fraser School district. Originally, we wanted to hold meetings in Fraser and now that we have gotten to experience the group and see the project become real, we want to create another place to meet in our community. H.E.A.R.T. is also looking to expand the program in Shelby and is hoping to make another day to meet, like on a wednesday night or something like that. So it’s safe to say that F.R.A.M.E.S. is nowhere near settling and we all see the group lasting for years and years. Having a safe place to share out and talk about the struggles we all go through help the teens we work with to feel like they are not alone. We want teenagers to have the opportunity to feel this way in all communities and F.R.A.M.E.S. is the path there,” Curtis said.




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