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Egg Harbor Township teen a finalist in drug prevention music competition

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — A local teen has earned recognition for his original substance-use prevention songs created for the 15th annual New Jersey Shout Down Drugs high school music competition, sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.

Jermaine Bethea, a junior at Egg Harbor Township High School, was selected as the Atlantic County finalist in the program, which challenges high school students to create original pieces with lyrics that contain substance-use prevention messages. An independent panel of judges selected his song, “Wasting Time,” as the top entry from the county, earning him a spot to perform at the annual Prevention Concert 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, at Rutgers University’s Mastrobuono Theatre.

Thirteen musical acts, comprised of 24 students from nine counties, will compete for $10,000 in music contracts at the Prevention Concert.

“The 2019 New Jersey Shout Down Drugs participants have displayed not only creativity and musical talent, but also determination to make a difference in the lives of their peers by using their talent to spread important messages of prevention,” partnership Executive Director Angelo Valente said. “Shout Down Drugs is unique, because it allows young people to be leaders in a positive and creative way. It’s a wonderful opportunity for these teens to inspire their peers with their passionate messages of substance-use prevention.”

The website,, features profiles of all the 2019 finalists and allows the public to cast votes for their favorite songs through May 9. These results will factor into the finalists’ scores on the night of the concert.

Bert Baron, morning talk show host on 1450 WCTC, will serve as the master of ceremonies at the concert, presented by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association and 1450 WCTC. Tickets to the concert are free and can be reserved at or by calling 973-467-2100, ext. 19.

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