All Teens Against Violence

Amber Abernathy

How would you describe your "Choose To Matter" project?  
For my Choose To Matter project I held a non-violence seminar for a group of 50-60 middle school students where most of them are exposed to violent situations at home or surrounded by gang activity. My goal was to encourage them to say no to violence, & inspire them that it’s still possible to rise above the problem. Speakers gave the students info to live healthy lives away from violence.
Explain what “need” or problem your project is addressing? 
The project is addressing how to solve the problem of violence specifically in adolescence. Most teens who are exposed to different types of violence don't know how to get out of it, or don't talk about it & end up making an impact on their every day life and other relationships; sometimes even into adulthood. So awareness is the key to help maintain happy, healthy, and successful lifestyles
What positive change(s) happened as a result of your project? 
The students gained knowledge and awareness on how to prevent violence, get out of it, and not letting their past (if one had one) with violence define the amount of greatness they can be in the world. Some students received the courage and will continue to go to a police officer for help with their situation or one of a peer, family member, etc.
What type of creativity/innovation did you use to implement your project? 
The students had breakfast to grab their attention while they listened to the one grew up in a rough neighborhood. I also made "All Teens Against Violence" wristbands & goodie bags so they will have a constant reminder to say no to violence. One of the speakers made the girls handmade beaded bracelets as a thank you for listening and taking the seminar into consideration.
What did you learn from doing your project? 
I learned that making a difference in the world isn't about yourself, but how many lives you can touch by using yourself and your experiences. Also the amount of kids who have seen violence by the time they get to high school, is too high and I want to do everything in I can to make that number lower everyday. I am blessed to have family & friends to get me through situations.

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