Buddy Bands

Bully Prevention Bracelets: one side is for awareness, but flip to the brighter side as a nonverbal call for help.

Photo of Heidi Faith
3 7

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Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Date Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

This idea is from my EIGHT year old son. The guidelines for the Tmobile contest are for ages 13-23 though, so I entered the birthdate of his 14 year old brother, who proudly sports his own Buddy Band at his junior high school! Even if the younger age disqualifies him from the contest, this can be a platform just to share the good idea with other schools who may like it.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Hurting schoolchildren often don't know how to ask for help: know the words to put to their feelings, or know who or how or when to tell. Advocates often want to "walk up" to help but don't know who or when hurting people are hurting.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Simply twisting the band to the brighter side is a nonverbal call for help, and can alert any teacher or advocate to start the conversation, by simply asking "Hey, buddy, are you ok?"

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

It's simple: a child is bullied, belittled or bothered emotionally. They don't have to do the work of waiting to get special permission to go to a certain office at a certain time to then try to find the words to start the conversation. Right where they are, they can turn the bracelet and everyone who sees is a potential safe place for help.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

For those who want to help, this answers who to help. For those who need help, and maybe even need help in getting the help, this is a nonverbal cry for help.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

The idea was just introduced to our local elementary school; the 2nd graders had an assignment to create a project and this was his. It satisfied the requirements of the assignment but is so creative and special that it is applicable to this contest also.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Parents from other schools are presenting the idea to their PTA and related school groups. Having it as an option for other schoolchildren could be valuable to them.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

Schools would be more likely to allow this to be an option for their students if it is presented from a larger platform like yours. They'd also be more likely if the Buddy Bands were even more affordable, if there was a financial savings component to this, from your contest.

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

From schools willing to implement this, their PTA or other fundraising group may be able to draw from their already strained donations to purchase Buddy Bands, but if you matched their funding, that could be a way of partnering.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Other

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sierra RyanWallick

I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!! Your son is definitely on to something, and it's awesome that you are supporting him! I think this idea is brilliant in that it is so simple and could have such a widespread impact. Silicon bracelets are not that expensive to buy in bulk, so it could definitely spread quickly. Please let me know if there is ever any way I can help!

Photo of Carson McBain

It's very inspiring that an 8 year-old came up with this idea, and the simplicity of the idea is its strength! This is a thoughtful and relatively easy-to-implement way to help prevent bullying in schools. I would encourage your sons and their supporters to think about ways that they can take the idea further, looking into the future after the Buddy Bands have been distributed. Perhaps some kind of anti-bullying education program or training to recognize the signs of bullying could amplify the impact. Best of luck to all of you!

Photo of Nooruddin Ahmad

THIS IS A AWESOME IDEA!!! Something outside of the box