In 1988, my little brother Steven died of a cocaine overdose in the back seat of a police car. He left behind a beautiful five year-old daughter and his loving family. Six years later, my other younger brother, Eric, committed suicide. He suffered for a decade from severe depression. Doctors said that Eric’s depression – and death – were very likely linked to his long-term drug use that began in middle school.

Following the loss of my brothers, I realized that they might have steered clear of drugs had they seen and heard how drugs would affect their lives – and eventually end them.

The reality of my brothers’ drug addiction and mental illness became an ongoing struggle for the family. For 11 years, we searched to find adequate resources to help Steven and Eric recover.

My family made a life-changing discovery during the search. We found drug prevention programs that targeted young people by preaching “Just say no” were not having an enduring impact. We were determined to change that.

After speaking with education and addiction experts, we decided to start Natural High (formerly known as the Sundt Memorial Foundation) because we knew we could make lasting change in the lives of youth.

What started with a handful of supporters, a few assemblies and a slide projector in 1994, has sparked cultural change by spreading the message that doing something you love gives you a better high than drugs ever could. By giving youth something to say yes to, it will be that much easier for them to say no to drugs.  Today, we’re reaching more than 8 million youth across the country with this message but there’s more work to be done. Join us in our mission to reach every single youth. Together, we can change lives.