Pioneering Substance Use Prevention Education for K-12 Students

Empower the next generation to make healthy choices with a comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum and resources from Emily’s Hope.

Our Mission

Emily’s Hope Substance Use Prevention Curriculum

The Emily’s Hope Substance Use Prevention Curriculum has been carefully designed to address growing concerns surrounding substance use and overdose in our communities. Our curriculum focuses on age-appropriate and evidence-based content that educates children about the risks of substance use while empowering them to make healthy choices. By fostering open communication between children, parents, and educators, we aim to create a supportive environment that promotes well-being and resilience.

A fervent desire burns within me to equip every child with the knowledge necessary to avoid addiction through our Emily’s Hope Prevention Curriculum. 

Angela Kennecke, CEO & Founder, Emily’s Hope

Emily’s Hope is dedicated to removing the stigma of substance use disorder through awarenesseducation, and prevention; and removing financial barriers for treatment and recovery.

Emily Groth
Turning Heartbreak into Action

Emily’s Story

May 16, 2018

In just three days, Emily was scheduled to be checked into a treatment center. She never made it.

Her family was in the process of organizing an intervention to get her into treatment after realizing something “wasn’t right.”

Emily’s death was a shock to her family who did not realize she was injecting heroin.

The dose Emily used that day, unbeknownst to her, was laced with enough fentanyl to kill six people.

The Problem



This is up 2.5% from the previous year.

The death rate for fentanyl is rising.

Fentanyl-involved deaths


adolescents died in 2019


adolescents died in 2021

Among adolescents, fentanyl-involved death rate increased from 1.21 per 100,000 in 2019 to 4.23 per 100,000 in 2021


of adolescent overdose deaths in 2021 involved fentanyl

In 2021, fentanyls were identified in 77.14% of adolescent overdose deaths

The Solution

Emily's Hope Substance Use Prevention Curriculum

At Emily's Hope, our goal is to provide students with the knowledge and tools they need to make healthy choices and combat substance abuse. We're proud to introduce our innovative, research-backed substance use prevention curriculum, designed to engage and educate students from kindergarten through 5th Grade, with middle & high school lessons coming soon.

Launching in the 2023/2024 school year, our K-5 curriculum is tailored to address the unique needs of young learners, delivering age-appropriate content that evolves with students as they grow and develop. With our 6-12 curriculum anticipated for the following year, we're committed to providing a comprehensive solution for substance use prevention education in schools across the nation.

Cartoon showing a teacher in the classroom teaching addiction prevention

Our Program

What Emily's Hope offers:

Comprehensive Curriculum

Downloadable Lessons

Teacher Community

Additional Resources

Stay tuned for future expansion

Testimonials & Reviews

Our Impact

Vivek Anand, MD

Avera Health

School-based programs focusing on children from early development through elementary and middle school are needed to achieve long-term preventative goals and a real public health impact.

Marie Atkinson-Smeins

Luverne Public Schools, Luverne, MN

It covers drugs and it covers alcohol, but it’s talking about your choices, and your brain. We have to educate kids at their level.


Third Grade Student

I learned that taking drugs will make you feel different and you won’t feel the same. And it won’t make you happy. It’ll make you upset and angry.

The Curriculum

Are you ready to make a lasting impact on the lives of your students?

Join us in our mission to promote healthy choices and prevent substance use disorder & addiction in the next generation.



Explore our comprehensive curriculum and take the first step towards a brighter future for your students.

Emily's Hope characters




Stay tuned for our comprehensive substance use prevention curriculum tailored for middle and high school students!

Meet the team

Our Staff

Val Peters Headshot

Valerie Peters

Director of Curriculum

Lindsey Gray Headshot

Lindsey Gray

Curriculum Development and Research

Anna Fey headshot

Anna Fey

Executive Assistant and Marketing Manager

Our Curriculum Committees

Our committee comprises engaged teachers, school administrators, college professors, and even the only South Dakota physician to be triple board certified in adult psychiatry, child/adolescent psychiatry, and addiction medicine.

Our Founder

Turning Heartbreak into Action

Angela Kennecke is turning her heartbreak into action by traveling the country to bring Emily’s story to communities, conferences and schools. She left journalism after more than three decades to become the CEO of Emily's Hope full-time.

Angela Kennecke

Angela Kennecke

Stats Sources

Spencer,Merianne Rose et al. (2023). Estimates of Drug Overdose Deaths involving Fentanyl, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Heroin, and Oxycodone: United States, 2021.

Friedman J, Godvin M, Shover CL, Gone JP, Hansen H, Schriger DL. Trends in Drug Overdose Deaths Among US Adolescents, January 2010 to June 2021. JAMA. 2022;327(14):1398–1400. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.2847

Ahmad FB, Cisewski JA, Rossen LM, Sutton P. Provisional drug overdose death counts. National Center for Health Statistics. 2023.

NCHS, National Vital Statistics System. Estimates for 2022 are based on provisional data. Estimates for 2015-2021 are based on final data (available from: