Tony Hoffman visited the Bronxville School on February 13 and 14 to speak with parents and all high school students about drug addiction. Tony is a former BMX (bike motocross) pro, U.S. Olympic Coach and a recovering addict. Tony was a talented athlete as a kid and came from a family that supported him. He talked about how he got involved in drugs, including marijuana and cocaine and eventually OxyContin and heroin. Part of Tony’s story is about how he had social anxiety as a teenager and often felt alone, anxious and depressed, which led in part to his alcohol and drug use. Tony quit drug use for a time after being arrested for armed robbery, but relapsed when he had emergency surgery and was given opioid painkillers. Tony has been clean for almost 11 years, after spending several years in prison, and now spends his time coaching and mentoring young people and delivering motivational speeches across the country. When talking to our high school students, he was blunt, telling them that they do have a choice about whether to “walk through the door” of drug and alcohol use, but they do not have a choice about whether they will become an addict. Tony also encouraged the students to get help if they are suffering from anxiety or depression, telling them that he has benefited from therapy for many years. Importantly, Tony emphasized the importance of hard work, discipline and making choices that are in each person’s best interests. Click here to visit Tony's page for more of his inspiring story.

Please take some time tonight or tomorrow to ask your high school student about their takeaway from Tony’s talk. The kids were attentive listeners and many had good questions for Tony. Tony gave out his Twitter address (tonymhoffman) and encouraged them to write to him if they have questions and he promised to respond to every one. Tony has a non-profit organization to help troubled youth called the Freewheel Project if you would like to support his work. Thank you to the PTA for providing support via the B*well Committee to host Tony’s visit.