Midori” – “You’re the only one driving your life, turning it the direction you want.  It’s your fault if you make wrong decisions, never anybody else’s.  You decide if you want to turn right or left, wrong or right, either way it’s still your decision.”


Kayla” – “The N.O.V.A. program has helped me so much.  I know now that I can be smart and be safe or be dumb and be hurt.  I also find myself reading more and going outside more often than sitting in front of the T.V. all day.”


Megan” – “Related a story about how N.O.V.A. helped her deal with a bully.  She said that of the many things that N.O.V.A. taught her, the lesson on how to deal with bullies helped her a lot and, “Saved my life”.  Megan said that before taking N.O.V.A. she didn’t know what to do about a bully that was constantly picking on her and being, “Mean” to her.   She said that N.O.V.A. taught her not to hide in a corner all day being afraid, but to stand tall, look confident, and don’t appear weak and timid.  Megan said that the bully respects her now and that she can deal with this bully, even though he can still mean to her from time to time.

Deputy Damian Openshaw

My name is Deputy Damian Openshaw and I work for the Cache County Sheriff’s Office in Utah. For the past 3 years, I have been teaching drug awareness lessons to students in Elementary and Middle School.

This past summer, Deputy Brandon Douglas and I became Certified N.O.V.A. Principles Instructors. We really like this program and our Agency decided to pilot it in several schools to see how it would be accepted. Our plan was to teach N.O.V.A. at 2 schools, and to continue teaching the previously taught program at the other 8 schools.

As I met the teachers of the non-pilot schools, some of them had already heard about the N.O.V.A. program from teachers from the Logan School District. They said that the Logan teachers that had N.O.V.A. loved it, and that because of this they wanted N.O.V.A. in their schools as well. In fact, they wanted to know why we couldn’t teach N.O.V.A. at their school.

I explained to them our original plan to pilot N.O.V.A. in just 2 schools, but that I would see what could be done. I made a few phone calls, and after speaking with my Lieutenant, the decision was made to teach N.O.V.A. at all 10 schools because that’s what the teachers wanted. I was excited about this chain of events because now I don’t have to teach two different programs, and I know the kids are going to benefit from the N.O.V.A. program a lot more.

Charlie Wakamatsu, Founder of N.O.V.A. Principles LLC

Having had a hand in creating the N.O.V.A. Principles program, and having taught N.O.V.A. for the past 13 years, I have been so fortunate to have encountered hundreds of wonderful positive experiences that I will never forget.

My business associate, and Co-Founder of N.O.V.A. Principles LC, Dr. Paul Jenkins, or, “Dr. Paul” as he is known, deserves the lion’s share of the credit for this, for if it wasn’t for Dr. Paul’s contribution to the N.O.V.A. program, N.O.V.A. would just be another good program, instead of the GREAT program that it has become.

I would also like to thank every N.O.V.A. Instructor for your desire, dedication, commitment, and hard work for making N.O.V.A. Principles what it is today, and for what it will become tomorrow.  It is all because of you!  All of the positive messages you are teaching to the thousands of students who participate in N.O.V.A. have such a positive effect on them, as well as their family, friends, and everyone that they come in contact with.  However, all this does not overshadow the positive effects it has on you, your family, friends, and everyone that you come in contact with as well.  All of this is truly causing a wonderful, “Paradigm Shift” for good!

Comments from students I have taught such as, “This lesson has changed my life forever!”, and, ” I used to argue and fight with my brother all the time, but now since I’ve had N.O.V.A., I don’t any more.”  are permanently embedded in my heart.  The comments I receive from parents about how N.O.V.A. has helped their son, or daughter also inspire me and uplift me as well.

N.O.V.A. has, “Illuminated my path to excellence” !