Monmouth County News Briefs, Dec. 7


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For forty-six years, 180 Turning Lives Around, a private nonprofit organization in Monmouth County, has provided support and advocacy for victims of sexual violence in the aftermath of a highly emotional and traumatic experience with the assistance of its Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) volunteers.

180’s trained confidential victim advocates, in collaboration with countywide law enforcement and the Forensic Nurse Examiners program, provide emotional support and assistance to victims and their significant others during accompaniments for timely and sensitive hospital medical examinations, and police and grand jury procedures, according to a press release.

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180’s volunteers also provide telephone support, which includes at the time of crisis, addressing medical and emotional needs, information regarding the justice system, and referrals for services. The volunteers also provide support and advocacy for the survivor’s significant other and adult survivors of childhood sexual assault.

180 is conducting a mandatory 40-hour SART training course for new volunteers from Jan. 17 through Feb. 9. Basic requirements for volunteers to apply include that they must be 18 years of age or older, have access to reliable transportation, possess a valid driver’s license, be willing to serve on an on-call shift basis, participate in an interview process and submit to fingerprinting and background checks.

180 is committed to a socially and culturally diverse team to best serve the community. Bilingual capability is helpful. Prior knowledge of or training in sexual violence is not required. To obtain an application, contact Kate Gerahty by email at or 732-264-4360, ext. 3308. The deadline to apply is Jan. 6.


The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) is inviting New Jersey high school students to create original music with substance use prevention messages as part of the 2023 Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey music competition.

Back for its 19th year, the Your Song! Your Voice! music competition allows teenagers to have a free platform to promote their music while inspiring other teens, according to a press release.

The competition is open to any type of music genres or any musical style. It does not matter what kind of music a teenager may be into; jazz, rock, reggae, rhythm and blues, and more, The PDFNJ wants to hear Your Song! Your Voice!

Entries will be accepted through March 5. Students interested in sharing their musical talent can submit original music with lyrics about substance use prevention.

“The Your Song! Your Voice! music competition was established on the premise that music has an ability move people.” said Angelo Valente, PDFNJ’s executive director. “It is a great opportunity for today’s youth to not only get their music heard by thousands, but also become peer leaders by creating positive messages about substance use prevention that can have a great impact on people’s lives.”

A panel of judges will select a group of finalists whose songs will be showcased in the 19th annual virtual Prevention Concert on April 26.

The winner of the Your Song! Your Voice! competition will be announced live on WRAT-FM at the end of the Prevention Concert. The winner will receive a $5,000 music contract. The second and third place performers will receive $3,000 and $2,000 music contracts, respectively, with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, according to the press release.

For rules and information about how to enter the competition, contact Diane Higgins at 973-275-7985 or

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