Headshot Photo of Stephanie Reifman
2018 Award Recipient


Project H.A.P.P.Y. WEEK (Heroin Addiction Prevents People's Years)

Location Upper Saddle River, NJ

Issue Area Education | Health

When “Glee” star Cory Monteith died in 2013 of a heroin overdose, Stephanie was devastated. Monteith’s death prompted her to learn about the epidemic of heroin addiction, which had caused more than 24 deaths in her county alone. In response, Stephanie founded H.A.P.P.Y. Week, a heroin education and prevention program for middle and high school students now implemented in more than 40 New Jersey and New York public schools and presented in cooperation with local synagogues, yeshivas, and BBYO regions/chapters, reaching more than 15,000 students.

Stephanie was named one of 50 CBS New York People to Know and is a winner of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. She was also inducted into the American Association of University Women Hall of Fame.

Upon researching heroin addiction, I found that it was an epidemic and it was right in my own backyard. I knew then that I wanted to prevent more senseless deaths from occurring, so I created H.A.P.P.Y. Week to educate students on the dangers of heroin.

Stephanie Reifman
“It is never too late, too early, or too often TO GIVE BACK AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE”
Helen Diller