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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Perigo: ‘People can change, do better’

  • Six students from the Neosho, East Newton and Seneca school districts were recognized Friday for making better choices.
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  • Six students from the Neosho, East Newton and Seneca school districts were recognized Friday for making better choices.
    The event took place in Presiding Judge Tim Perigo’s courtroom inside the Newton County Courthouse, with family, friends and students applauding the six recipients.
    “The main purpose is acknowledge that people can make mistakes, can change and do better,” said Perigo.
    The recipients were given a Better Choices Award and $60.
    One of the recipients was Jade Brecheisen, 16, who attends the Neosho Alternative School.
    “I am a drug court participant and I actually graduated later on in December, but I am still participating in the program,” she said.
    Talking about her experience, Brecheisen said, “I had been using drugs for about four years before I was caught and put into Judge Perigo’s program and I can’t even explain the changes that I have made. I have been put into foster care, getting away from my home life is definitely a big turnaround for me.”
    Dereck Price, the school district’s security officer, talked about Brecheisen.
    “I wish that I could show you a picture of Jade whenever I first came in contact with her, it is not what you see before you,” he said. “If you were to tell me what she is doing now and going to graduate like she is today, I would have said, ‘yeah, right it is going to snow in May. Well?’”
    “I guess my teachers and school had just realized what a big turnaround I have made,” she added.
    Brecheisen said this program is definitely a life-changing event.
    “It is really truly amazing,” she said. “It is a good program in general. It does show students that you are rewarded for your good behavior in school and you can make a difference and the fact that other students see you doing it makes them want to strive to be better. It (has taught me) that good actions don’t go unrewarded, that you can make a difference. I would have never seen myself here two years ago.”

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