City presents $90,000 check to GameChanger Initiative

Mayor Tom Joyce, City officials, Wood County Schools Superintendent, GameChanger team members, teachers and students all welcomed Governor Jim Justice to the Mid-OhioValley to celebrate the City’s partnership and fiscal support of the GameChanger programs in three Wood County schools – Jefferson Elementary, VanDevender Middle School, and Parkersburg High School.

The City of Parkersburg, in collaboration with @Wood County Schools, is taking a proactive stance in combating substance misuse among its youth population by partnering with the innovative GameChanger program. This cutting-edge, evidence-based program aims to create a safer and healthier environment for West Virginia students, preventing drug use before it starts.

Mayor Tom Joyce expressed his enthusiasm for the program, stating, "Prevention is the ultimate long-term solution to the drug crisis in WV and Parkersburg. I am pleased to be afforded the opportunity for Parkersburg to fund this innovative, student-driven comprehensive approach. I applaud the Wood County Board of Education & Superintendent Willis for their consideration and allowing us to be a partner in this initiative."

During his remarks at Parkersburg High School, Mayor Tom Joyce said, “I look at this as just another opportunity for you, and I’m talking to the students now, to live a life free of drugs and addiction and to get on a path to academic success with being better students, better brothers and sisters, better siblings, better friends, better Big Reds,” Joyce said. “And like the governor and all these men and women in uniform, and these guys sitting down here, they’re rooting for you. We’re all rooting for the next generation of West Virginians… to put this behind us.” 
For more information on the GameChanger initiative, proposed participating local schools, and to watch a powerful video about how One Pill Can Kill, head over to

You can see some of our Wood County Schools students declaring their "I choose to be drug free" statements on our website at

Mayor Tom Joyce and Gov. Justice 2024GameChanger check presentation