November 2011 Update

Nov 28, 2011

What a Fall,

That’s all we can say. Your probably saying where have you been, well for 3 months we were serving 37 school districts , doing 32 family nites , 26 family dinners and speaking to over 162,000 students and families! Yes that’s one hundred and sixty two thousand students with 4 of our communicators Seth Franco, Reggie Dabbs, Preston Centuolo and Vai Sikahema and our anti- bullying campaign. So for this update I thought I would let the faculty, students and parents say it all this time.

“My name is Adam Fender and I am the assistant principal at Kenston Middle School where you spoke at this past Tuesday 11/9/11. That afternoon, two related students went home and told their mother about a young man (sixth grader) who has been talking about ending his life due to bullying. The mother called the school to inform us of the situation and so we followed through. After investigating the situation, it turns out that the boy has been verbally abused not only by other students, but also by his parents. He created a list on his computer of many negative remarks made to him by various people with at closing remark that said “my life is worthless”. When I asked the two initial students why the decided to tell their mother what was happening, they both stated that You inspired them to tell someone what was going on.”

“The Youth Alliance is a wonderful resource for all schools to assist in addressing the recent HIB legislation that went into effect this school year. Our school had the pleasure of having Vai Sikahema, former Philadelphia Eagle and Channel 10 Sports Director, in to speak with our students and parents. I can tell you that as the Principal of Veterans Memorial School, I believe we are a better, more informed school after the assembly. Vai had an amazing effect on our students and I honestly believe, reached many of our students. We have used The Youth Alliance in the past, and we will continue to in the future. I urge all schools to look into one of their programs… won’t be disappointed! ….Mario Olsen, Princpal

I’m a student from Buena Regional High School and I’m really happy you came to our school today. I’ve seen you a few times now but I love hearing that your coming”. That 8th grade girl you told us about did have alot of nerve because even though I thought of each of those things before, I would never have the guts to say it in front of anyone and after hearing the story, it made me feel so much better to know I wasn’t alone. It’s not that my family life is bad don’t get me wrong I just don’t really succeed in anything I do but after hearing your speech over and over I know to “Never give up!” I wanted to thank you. But other than you just coming to the high school, I wanted to thank you for performing for the Buena Regional Middle School. My brother is in 6th grade this year and things have been hard on him. He gets into fights everywhere but school and he has alot of friends but alot of them are fake and he does wish sometimes like the little girl. You don’t know how much it kills me inside when he says he only takes up space and there’s no reason as to why he should have been born… especially because people pick on him and he’s not a bad kid he’s pretty cool when you know him so he loves you and you’ve definitely given him inspiration and pointed him in the right direction so thank you so much , not only for brightening my day today, but also my brother’s =)

“Vai Sikahema, former Philadelphia Eagles player, sports director at Philadelphia’s NBC10 TV and the host of “Wednesday’s Child,” a segment promoting the adoption of children, visited the area recently to deliver an anti-bullying message, said Jennifer Frederico, Petway principal.

Sikahema’s presentation, which included his personal experiences with bullying, was shared with all students, said Frederico. The visit was arranged through cooperation with the The Youth Alliance as part of the district’s anti-bullying initiative. In addition to Petway, Sikahema visited Veterans Memorial School Oct. 28 and will speak at Wallace Middle School on Jan. 4. According to Frederico, Sikahema’s interactive presentation targets both prevention and intervention, empowering students to recognize, refuse and report bullying. In the evening, Sikahema presented his motivational assembly to the Petway parents. A dinner was provided, for the evening event, through a generous NJEA PRIDE in Education grant. During the evening event, Seth Franco, a former Harlem Globetrotter who is making similar presentations in district schools, made a surprise visit, said Frederico. Franco visited Landis School on Oct. 29 and Rossi School on Oct. 24. “He (Franco) spoke to the parents and students about overcoming adversity even when it is difficult,” said Frederico. “He spoke of perseverance and effort related to reaching your goals. He also entertained everyone with his many basketball talents explaining that after a significant injury (which prevented him from a career in professional basketball he practiced and practiced developing the many tricks which led to his time with the Harlem Globetrotters.” Frederico said both men made a “true connection” with the school’s students and parents. “They are phenomenal individuals who believe in helping children see their potential,” she said. “Petway staff has had a strong focus on character education through our Pathway to Patriot Pride Program,” said Frederico. “Through the development of character skills and powerful role-models, our students will learn the importance of recognizing and stopping bullying in our school.” “Vai Sikahema connected with the students, sharing real life experiences the children could understand,” she said. “His message —‘everyone can make a difference’ — was powerful. Our students learned how to stand together to end bullying.”

” I was at Atlantic city high school. Yhu are so inspirational. Yhu made me laugh & cry,just thinking about some if the things Yhu said made me think of myself. I really wanted to come see yhu again tonight but sadly I couldn’t. I just wanted to thanking for giving me an assembly I will nvrr forget & that was so inspiring & inspirational. honestly I love yhu !

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