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Be An Upstander: Use Your Superpowers!

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

This week my youth organization, Maximizing Character (MXC) has been recognizing National Youth Violence Prevention Week (NYVPW). It's by no accident that I stumbled upon the website a few months ago while working on another project. I learned that Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) is an initiative of Sandy Hook Promise. Who can forget the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 where 20 children and 6 adults were killed? The NYVPW campaign is a week-long event with each day focusing on a specific challenge that is implemented by schools and communities around the nation.

I was excited to learn about this campaign and immediately decided to join the cause. It has been an amazing week so far. We have opted to raise awareness and educate schools and communities on violence prevention strategies by hosting a social media campaign. The reception by our online supporters and new followers has been remarkable. We hope that the information we are sharing this week will equip them to save a life.

Some examples of how people can raise awareness include:

  • Knowing the signs of people who are hurting or isolating themselves and doing something about it. Programs like Start with Hello and Say Something are truly life-saving strategies.

  • Promoting respect and tolerance.

  • Being an Upstander, a person who speaks or acts in support of an individual or cause.

  • Resolving conflicts peacefully and

  • Uniting in action.

The goal of these programs and campaigns is to prevent youth violence BEFORE it happens.

In addition to getting social this week, MXC has scheduled a PEACE Paint Party! In honor of Thursday's theme- Resolve Conflicts Peacefully with Superhuman Strength, we decided to give youth and families an opportunity to spread the peace through dialogue and art. MXC members and friends will gather together at a local community center this weekend to host this engaging event. There will be music, food, lots of art and dialogue about this important issue. MXC will share photos on social media afterwards.

I hope that you will take a few moments to check out the SAVE website to learn more about National Youth Violence Prevention Week and the Sandy Hook Promise.  I also encourage you to connect with Maximizing Character's social media sites (@MXC_Everyday) as we recognize NYVPW. We've been building character and developing Upstanders every day since 2013!

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