Today as President and Founder of New Beginnings, Phillips has been developing and presenting workshops and programs at all levels of education for 32 years. Judge Campion, first justice of the Framingham District Courts, and Jack Westcott, former principal of Keefe Tech, have been a major part of the program’s ongoing success and influence in Bill’s life. His research and expertise include adolescent behavior and adolescent alcohol and drug abuse. In 2006 Bill’s Science Based, Evidence Based program was evaluated by the Minnesota Institute of Public Health. Kevin Ringhofer, one of the key evaluators, stated that Bill’s program was unique and that he would like to see this program offered throughout the United States.
New Beginnings awareness programs are in constant change to keep up with the fast-paced world we live in. Each program focuses on the most current issues students are dealing with, at any grade level, and new strategies and approaches are always created to keep students interested. Programs are also presented to adapt to the issues and concerns parents and schools feel are important to encourage young adults to make responsible decisions. Times change; New Beginnings believes in changing with the times. In 2013 Bill authorized ABC’s “20 20” TV program to create and televise a documentary on the explosion of heroin overdoses and resulting deaths.
Bill Phillips founded New Beginnings Programs in 1987 to promote awareness and acceptance of alcoholism and other dependencies as a health issue of grave concern to everyone, with major ramifications to the welfare of the community. The program helps to identify the links between school discipline, delinquency, violence and achievement. The emphasis is on young adults to make responsible decisions by providing them with current and accurate information regarding the effects and dangers of alcohol and drugs. He works closely with adults, teachers, parents, police and others to use their influence to assist young people in making healthy decisions about their futures. Bill has conducted programs in middle schools, high schools and colleges throughout the country. Locally, New Beginnings educational programs have reached an average of 80,000 students and adults per year. As a non-profit provider, Bill individually counsels anyone needing free assistance and depends on personal and government donations to make this possible. Bill often brings along recovering youth who speak to peers about their ordeals with addiction and their successes in overcoming them.
Bill earned his B.A. at West Virginia State College, with continued studies at Boston University. He is certified in Alcohol and Drug Evaluation, Adolescent Behaviors and Intervention and Prevention Counseling. He underwent further studies in Substance Abuse and Behavior Counseling presented by the Supreme Judicial Court & Substance Abuse Project of Massachusetts . He also completed the Motivation Interviewing course sponsored by Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England, at Brown University. He was in on the original Project Alliance team, along with the then D.A.Thomas Riley, the present D.A., Gerry Leone, Judge Robert C. Campion, and Jack Westcott (former Principal of Keefe Vocational Technical School). Also he was an early member after the establishment of the Criminal Based Justice System in Framingham by Thomas Riley, Jerry Leone, Judge Campion, Bob Flaherty (former Framingham High School Principal), James Poirier (Clerk Magistrate of the Dedham Courts) and Robin Pontremoli, Assistant To the D. A’s office. Bill has served as an At-Risk Counselor for a number of high schools in Massachusetts. He was a catalyst in the development of the Framingham, Massachusetts District Court 2nd Offenders Program, where he is still involved. Bill has established the first Diversion Program for the Framingham Juvenile Court under the direction of D.A. Leone. He also runs a state funded awareness program on drug and alcohol abuse. Bill also serves as a liaison to Juveniles At-Risk for many of the courts throughout the area. His New Beginnings Program is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and in partnership with several wellness programs throughout the state. He is also a consultant for The Governors’ Alliance Against Drugs.
Bill has produced an educational manual for schools, parents and businesses titled, "Chemical Dependency - Assessing the Problem", which he makes available to all parents and faculty he addresses. Bill is a regular guest speaker at colleges such as Lasell, Assumption, Mass Bay Wellesley, and Suffolk University.
Today Bill and his New Beginnings staff partner with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (M.I.A.A.), a number of the D.A.R.E. Programs, the Y.M.C.A., S.A.D.D., M.A.D.D., Partners In Prevention, the MA Department of Education, the Juvenile Court Department, N.C.A.A., numerous coalition projects throughout the state, and on many boards for high school/middle school wellness and youth service programs throughout the state. Also, he has made many guest appearances on local and national TV programs.
All that aside, it is Bill’s heartfelt, down to earth testimony of his own experience with addiction that captivates students and gives him credibility. His messages and individual counseling/interventions have led to untold numbers of lives turned around and saved. Kids can and do relate to him much more than a ‘professional speaker’.
PEOPLE ARE TALKING...
“You saved my son’s life! I will never be able to thank you enough. . .”
a thankful parent
“Thank you, thank you for your guidance, availability, patience and support through the past year of hell. It takes very special people to do what you do day in and day out. Absolutely could not have gotten through this past year without you.”
“. . . you were such a source of comfort and support to me during that time. I remember crying to you on the phone and begging for the right answers. You were so wonderful and loving and I can’t find the words to express to you how thankful I am.”
“Packed full with information and facts…high energy, change of pace from the usual programs. Questions and Answers part of forum was exceptional. Thank you”
Jim Poirier, Clerk Magistrate - Norfolk Juvenile Court
“This program is a great resource for developing and establishing improved school, court and police relationships”
Timothy Scaggs, Assistant Chief Probation Officer - Framingham Juvenile Court
“Thank you so much for the wonderful presentation last night. I’ve received so much positive feedback from the parents who attended!….Your program is awesome and more and more necessary in the kids lives…Your message is powerful and real because you’ve experienced lots of heartache-keep up this important work”
Judy Miley, Religious Education Director - St. Timothy Parish
“The staff at Baird Middle school is still talking about the in-service training you provided at our school during teacher orientation week. We found your presentation to be meaningful and practical for those of us who work with adolescents”
Donna M. Hogan, Interim Principal - Paul R. Baird Middle School
Dear Mr. Phillips and Ryan
”I just want to thank you for your visit because it really made me think of the consequences of drugs. I’m not going to lie and say I have never tried pot before… but now that you’ve told me what it can result in I’ve changed my mind drastically. Though I have used it, I have opted to stop because it is very harmful to your health. Thank you for convincing me that drugs are bad for your body. You’ve made a big impression on me."
8th grade student
“Would recommend this program without hesitation. Informative, exciting, non-stop and right to the point....excellent”
Ralph Olsen, Principal - Framingham High School