SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Saturday was a proud day for families across the Pioneer Valley, as thousands of people packed the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield to see Westfield State University students graduate. 1100 students from 31 different majors received their degrees.
Attorney General Maura Healey delivered the university’s 178th commencement speech. Before she inspired the class of 2017, she sat down with 22News to discuss the opioid crisis and what her office is doing to end the epidemic.
She told 22News, “We’re funding education and opioid abuse prevention programs in schools. We recently gave money out to Agawam, and Westfield and Longmeadow and other communities, to support their efforts around youth opioid prevention.”
Attorney General Healey is also going after people who over-prescribe opioids.
She noted, “We need to make sure we have safe prescribing practices, safe dispensing practices. This is about working together.”
Her message to the graduates, as they march into the next phase of life, was, “Be humble, be kind, to trust their gut, let life unfold and know that the foundation that you received through your education is going to allow you to go out and do great things.”
It was a message that resonated with nursing major Andrew Morin of Clinton, who told 22News, “So much has been given to me here, that I have so much to give back. That’s why it’s important for me.”
Attorney General Healey also told 22News that she is cracking down on illegal drug traffickers pushing heroin laced with fentanyl, which is a dangerous drug that killed 1,500 people in Massachusetts last year.