S.A.B.B. - Students Against Being Bullied Inc.
What if our children could walk into school and create a safe, caring environment full of respect and empathy for themselves and each other?
Founding Story: Share a story about a key experience or spark that helps the network understand why this project got started or a story about how you became inspired about the potential for this project to succeed.
I created S.A.B.B. after 2 major events shook me to my core. I was horrifically bullied for months in 7th grade by 5 older boys, and a friend of mine had confided in me that he was contemplating suicide due to bullying. I immediately went to guidance and told the counselor what my friend had just told me. To this day he credits me with saving his life. That is when I realized if I could save one by just being there for him, I could do it for a lot more and that is when S.A.B.B. Inc. was born.
Which categories describe you? (the answer will not be public)
White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French, Caucasian)
Our Main Organization website it: http://www.studentsagainstbeingbullied.org/
Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [State]
Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [City]
Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [State]
Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [City]
Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
Throughout time our society has been plagued with the judgment and harsh words of those who strive to feel powerful by bullying others. The escalation in the severity of bullying that is occurring is alarming to many, as it should be, because the fact is that words can kill and now so more than ever. I created this program to give tangible resources to students to find help, report incidences, and support each other. That is the lever of change.
Is your model focused on any of the following traditionally underserved communities?
Does your model work within any of the following sectors?
Established (the solution has passed the previous stages, and has demonstrated success)
Example: Walk the network through a specific example of what happens when a person or group engages with your solution.
Three female bystanders texted our S.A.B.B. “Report and Support” line to report seeing a blog post on the internet that attacked, berated, and threatened a fellow student. The texts were received by the vice principal who immediately opened an investigation. This blog was spreading quickly and creating a hostile environment. Once the victim felt comfortable I walked her down to the office where she filed a report. Because of this blog, the victim didn’t feel comfortable in the hallways or in the mornings before school started. The victim was able to utilize S.A.B.B.’s safe room and peer shadowing program. Thankfully, the group of students responsible was punished, the blog was taken down, and the victim was able to return to normalcy.
Impact: What was the impact of your work last year? Please also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
We do not have an exact number of people that S.A.B.B. has been able to impact, but based on the amount of outreach we have done we estimate that S.A.B.B. Inc. has impacted anywhere from 15,000 to 16,225 people. This number is based on the number of students the program has reached in schools where S.A.B.B. has been implemented and successfully run. Our media outreach, thanks to Scholastic Magazine, Current Health Teens and Current Health Kids Magazine, the television shows "El Mundo" and "One-on-One with Steve Adubato, as well as numerous news outlets, is an estimated 13 million. Our numbers will continue to grow with time and exposure to media coverage, but if we can reach one student and pull them out of a toxic bullying situation, we are successful.
Financial Sustainability Plan: What is your solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?
Although I do not charge per presentation we do ask for donations. The only expense are promotional materials such as business cards, wristbands, and our website. We are low on funds, but I cover what the organization doesn't have with money I have earned from my full time job as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate in my hometown.
Unique Value Proposition: How else is this problem being addressed? Are there other organizations working in the same field, and how does your project differ from these other approaches?
There are hundreds of anti-bullying initiatives out there, one of the biggest being "The Bully Project". There are simply too many to name. However, S.A.B.B. Inc. is different and extremely effective because it one of a kind in the sense that it was created entirely by a student, it is run by students, for other students. In just two years S.A.B.B. Inc. was able to reduce the violence and vandalism rate at High Point Regional High School in Sussex, NJ by 50% and made huge strides in awareness and student involvement. Kids are more likely to reach out and talk to other kids.
Reflect on the Field and its Future: Stepping outside of your project, what do you see as the most important or promising shifts that can advance children’s wellbeing?
Violence in schools and communities is an issue that needs to be resolved but looking deeper at the consequences of violence at school, at home, and in the community problems with anxiety and depression arise. I believe working on communication skills and emotional intelligence skills with children of all ages will help advance children's wellbeing. Teaching children how to talk effectively about exactly what and how they are feeling will give a solid foundation for trained professionals to help the child create healthy ways of problem solving and coping with what they are experiencing.
Source: How did you hear about the Children’s Wellbeing Challenge? (the answer will not be public)
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka, who was it? (the answer will not be public)
A referral to me was made by the amazing Becca Aburakia-Einhorn.