The Final Project of Graduation


Photo by Lauren Hevel

Senior Corey Hevel ready for project graduation at Main Event.

Peytie Chambers, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: The original publication of this story in the winter print edition incorrectly stated that students will be allowed to arrive late and leave early from project graduation. It also said that the Parent Teacher Organization were the organizers of the event. Both of these statements were false and have been corrected in this version below.

Project Graduation is a program that many high schools offer as an adult-supervised, drug and alcohol-free, post-graduation party. It serves as a step to prevent student-run events with possible drug and alcohol use. A 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed that among high school students, during the past 30 days; 29% drank alcohol, 14% binge drank, 5% of drivers drove after drinking alcohol, and 17% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

Project Graduation began with the community of Oxford Hills, Maine. What sparked this program was in 1979, Oxford Hills experienced 7 out of 12 teenager deaths, which had resulted from driving under the influence of alcohol and drug-influenced deaths. These tragedies brought attention to the dangers of uncontrolled substance use in a new light for the Oxford Hills community. In reply to the deaths, a school-community coalition developed the program “Project Graduation.” The first project graduation was held in 1980. There were no casualties, alcohol or drug-related injuries, and no arrests for driving under the influence. This program worked originally just in Maine, and fatalities there involving teenagers driving under the influence of alcohol decreased from twelve in 1979 to one in 1984 in this community. 

Each school has a different way to sign up for Project Graduation, or other similar programs. For Azle High School, all AHS graduating seniors can attend as long as they have registered in advance. In addition, students are allowed to bring a plus-one for a small fee, the guest must be pre-registered, completed their sophomore year and be under 20 years old. This year, project graduation will be held at Main Event in Fort Worth. However, private transportation, late arrival and early release will not be allowed. Students must ride the bus there and back in order to participate. Parents of seniors organize Project Graduation in order to make the seniors’ final moments of high school be unforgettable memories.


Students can sign up for Project Graduation here.

Students can pay for their guests here.