Dr. Peter DeBenedittis launched a media literacy education firm specializing in substance abuse prevention in 1999. Peter moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1995, after living on the island of Guam for over a decade. With the move, Dr. D. changed careers. Having previously run an ad agency that specialized in political candidates, Peter shifted to working for the esteemed New Mexico Media Literacy Project. “I slept a lot better at night now that I started using my background in media to educate for prevention rather than seduce for profits.” While with the NMMLP, Peter co-authored 2 CD Rom volumes of curricula—one teaching general media literacy education, and one specific to using media literacy for tobacco and alcohol prevention.
With the start of Peter D. & Co., Inc., Peter launched several new media literacy curricula series teaching prevention. Over the next 5 years he wrote 11 volumes of youth prevention lessons and spoke to over a quarter million students. His curricula became widely used across America, being required across several grade levels in Montana, and being adopted by state health departments in a half dozen states. Dr. D’s work training prevention specialists how to use media literacy in their prevention efforts, contributed to media literacy education becoming a foundational program. It’s now incorporated into most community and school prevention programs.