Robert and Linell Shapiro established the Brent Shapiro Foundation after they lost their son, Brent, to addiction in October 2005. The Foundation's aim is to create awareness of the dangers of drug addiction. It has achieved this through distributing "Save-a-Life" cards, speeches given nationwide, and books written on the subject.
In 2013, the Foundation collaborated with leading experts in drug prevention, including Dr. Jeffrey Wilkins, the head of Cedars Sinai Substance Abuse Program, to test a drug prevention program. The program combined rewards with random drug and alcohol testing. The Variety Boys and Girls Club in East Los Angeles, an underserved and drug-infested community, was selected to participate in the program. The program rewards students for staying away from drugs and alcohol, and successful participation leads to an opportunity for a college scholarship. The program proved effective, with the initial class of 25 students showing positive results.
The Brent's Club program has since grown to over 15,000 members in locations across the country, including East LA, Long Beach, Malibu, Monterey Park, Oxnard, Bronx, New York, Venice, California, and Austin, Texas. The program's approach involves immediate DNA testing using a simple saliva swipe. Students are tested in groups to reduce peer pressure, and counseling and guidance are provided to prevent recurrences. Brent's Club aims to expand its program nationwide, with prevention being the best strategy to eliminate or reduce risk factors for drug and alcohol use and ultimately save lives.