Kathleen's Story

My name is Kathleen Quartaro. My daughter, Ali (pictured below), died at the age of 18 after a night of binge drinking.

Ali was a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in the Honors Program at the ScAli Raddatzhool of Business on a scholarship. On the morning of February 21, she was found dead in the upper floor of an off campus apartment--a known party house. She had been drinking shots of hard liquor, passed out and lay unconscious for hours while others partied around her, afraid to get her help. She was a beautiful, physically fit girl. But her body could not handle what the students were doing that night.

You may be wondering why I'm telling you this and you may think, as I once did, that this couldn't happen to your child, that something like this only happens to troubled children. That simply isn't true.

Ali was a model student in high school, president of the Student Council, active in her school's clubs, an altar girl. I was so proud when she received a scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and anxious for her to begin this next exciting chapter in her life--Ali's future appeared so bright and full of possibility.

I believe that as parents, when we send our children off to college, we want them to get a good education, to make friends, to learn and grow as individuals, and above all, we want them to be safe.  I am writing to you today to tell you that our children are not safe.

Shortly after learning of her death, in my despair, I grabbed my 17-year-old son and said, "Whatever happened to going out and having a good time with a few beers?"  My son's response was: "Mom! Don't you think Ali would have loved to go out for a few beers? You can't get beer! Right now it would be easier for me to go out and get some heroin than it would be for me to get beer! And if you could get it you can't be seen with it!"

That was the moment I recognized that we have a very serious problem in this country. I wanted to know how this could have happened to my beautiful daughter.  Why wasn't someone watching out for her?  Why are young adults being forced to drink in secret, in environments that encourage reckless, irresponsible behavior?  Why are parents powerless when it comes to educating our children about responsible alcohol consumption? (Continued...)

For Young Adults

Choose Responsibility recognizes that you are legally an adult and exists to empower you to speak up and make a difference.

For Educators

Choose Responsibility wants to help you understand and deal effectively with the realities of alcohol in the lives of young adults.

For Parents

Choose Responsibility is here to help you affirm and fulfill your parental role as your sons and daughters become adults.