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Who We Are

The Courage to Speak® Foundation is a nonprofit organization providing Home, School, and Community Programs™ for drug prevention through presentations, community forums, and research-based school curriculum and parenting programs. The Courage to Speak Foundation delivers social-emotional skill-building lessons to increase youth’s ability to live healthy lives and empowers parents with skills to communicate effectively with their children about the dangers of drugs. The Courage to Speak® Drug Prevention Programs were evaluated by Yale University School of Medicine and were found to produce significant positive changes in communication and behavior among students and parents.

Ginger & Larry Katz

The organization was founded by Ginger and Larry Katz and is devoted to fulfilling a promise Ginger made to her son, Ian, who died when he was just 20 years old of a heroin and prescription drug overdose - to do everything in her power to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family. The heart of the work is the nationally renowned Courage to Speak® Presentation. Ginger Katz tells the story of how her son Ian’s losing battle with drugs began with cigarettes, beer and marijuana, and ended with his death from overdose of heroin and prescription drugs.

Ian’s story weaves prevention facts with a family’s personal experience to help audiences understand the silence and denial surrounding drug use and connects students, parents and educators to the urgent need to address youth drug addiction. The Courage to Speak Presentation has been featured at many National and State conferences, among the more notable are: National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), National Youth Conference, and Keynote at the National Narcotic Officers Association and the Connecticut PTA 105th Convention.

Developed with teams of experts in the drug prevention field, our programs include:

  • Nine (9) Lesson Elementary School Curriculum (Grades 4-6) and After-School Program (4-8) based on the book Sunny’s Story written by CEO and Founder Ginger Katz.
  • Seventeen (17) Lesson Middle School Curriculum (Grades 7-8) is a research-based program for Middle Schools which builds skills to help students make good decisions and resist the pressure to use drugs.
  • Thirteen (13) Lesson High School Curriculum incorporates lessons that address communication, decision-making, risk reduction, problem-solving and goal setting to empower high school students to avoid drug use and resist drug addiction.
  • Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101® “Parenting Through the Opioid Crisis and Beyond” ™ is a single session program covering additional topics specifically related to the Opioid Crisis affecting our nation.

Ms. Katz authored Sunny’s Story, a drug prevention book narrated by Sunny, Ian’s pet beagle, and told from the dog’s perspective of the ups and downs of life and how his young master’s life was needlessly lost to substance use. The book is read by people of all ages, in schools and homes nationwide.

With a grant from the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Courage to Speak® Foundation adapted the Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101® “Parenting Through the Opioid Crisis and Beyond” ™ into an interactive online training. This Online Parent Training Module is available free to all parents. To access this Free Online Drug Prevention Parent Training, please visit the following link:

The Courage to Speak® Programs are available nationwide, and over one million students, parents, teachers, health professionals and others across the country have been involved in the programs. To date, over 156 professional facilitators and over 500 teachers across the nation have been trained to implement these lifesaving programs in their local communities.

For more information or to learn more about our programs for your community, please call 203-831-9700 or email