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Anti-Bullying LEAP

3 Years

Milestones

Our Mission & Vision

MISSION: To raise awareness of the negative impact of bullying in middle and high school communities around the globe.

VISION: We envision a more empathetic world where people respect each other and recognize that the strength of the community depends on the power of the whole, not the power of the individual.

Read Our LEAP Story

I entered LEAP’s leadership program with a dynamic group of teens from New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk and Stamford. We had committed to be trained by peers on leadership skills that I soon realized were essential to my own growth and healing. Themes like integrity, resilience, humility and respect inspired me to believe in myself as I stepped up to build an anti-bullying program to raise awareness and prevent others from being bullied as I had been.

My team and I had a vision to have an anti-bullying walk in Stamford, CT, write and perform anti bullying skits to middle school students, inspire UMEWE conversations, and have an anti-bullying art show / gala in Darien, CT. Over the course of 3 years, we met all of our goals, and in the process found help for 6 middle school students at risk of self-harm who would not have been identified, otherwise.

Our commitment to our vision was profound. I know that our courage and resilience to overcome rejection, fear and fatigue inspired others. We tested each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We experimented with different roles, from marketing to writing, from managing to networking, fundraising to asset allocation, team building and collaboration. We were all stretched outside our comfort zones and were met with success!

Thank you Leap4change for everything you do every day and thank you, Lauren, for letting me join LEAP. If it wasn’t because of this wonderful place I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I thank everyone that has helped LEAP grow each year because a lot of people deserve a place like this. LEAP is not a group, it’s a home.

– Patsy Gomez, Anti-Bullying LEAP

Lead. Change. Together.

LEADERSHIP:

Our LEAP to Lead training workshops were actually taught by fellow students from New Canaan and Darien- Holly, Will, Emily and Abby. Our diverse group felt that it was amazing to be taught by our fellow peers, truly showing the results of how Leap4change creates leaders.
LEAP to Lead was different. We used the 12 workshops to build respect for each other, to create a judgement free space where we could use our strengths and weaknesses to determine how to become leaders, how to collaborate to make a difference together.

TEAMBUILDING:

Our team was comprised of students from Stamford, Darien, and New Canaan, Connecticut. We met weekly with students who were connected with partners in Nicaragua, Uganda, and Kenya. We engaged Dolan Middle School and Stamford YMCA as our partners in Stamford, CT, and Dr. Chris Bogart as a professional resource.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP:

Anti bullying was our focus. Our goal was to create a social entrepreneurship program committed to raise awareness of and reduce bullying in Stamford, CT. We spent a few years learning about and envisioning a way to impact bullying in Kenya, Norwalk, and Stamford, CT.
Our team from Stamford chose to write skits depicting our view of issues we feel are most damaging to our communities. Our skits were about issues like depression, suicide, religious stereotypes, bullying in schools and on buses, verbal abuse, and gang pressure. We created an anti bullying Art Gala and executed a Walk-A-Thon to teach the public about the facts behind bullying.

IMPACT:

20 youth impacted more than 1200 people in 3-4 years.

After 2 years of research, discovery, practice and skit writing, we were invited to perform our skits in front of 500 students and teachers at Dolan Middle School. We performed on Diversity Day for 2 years. In keeping with our mission to create a space where students can feel safe to talk about real issues in their lives, we ran small group UMEWE conversations with hundreds of students where we discovered 6 students at risk of self harm. Thanks to those conversations, we were able to provide support and get those 6 students the help they needed.

We gathered together in a park in Stamford, CT for a LEAP Walk-A-Thon and spent the day talking with the public about the effects of bullying as a norm in our schools and towns.
We invited Dolan Middle School students to join our Anti Bullying Art Gala at NEAT in Darien CT as we celebrated all the young adults involved with LEAP.

Areas of Impact

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LEAP Team

LEAP Coach Lauren Calahan

New Canaan, CT

Kibera, Kenya

Stamford, CT

 

View Our LEAP Portfolio