SAVE is Changing Lives

Since 1989, SAVE has been making a difference in the lives of both students and advisors. These inspiring stories show the importance of what SAVE chapters across the country are doing. Share your own story or help SAVE change the lives of youth in more schools and communities.

Braelyn D Willis – Spring Valley, CA

“It matters to me that others are happy and I care that people are safe and feel safe.”

Read Braelyn's Story

“Ever since I was little I for some reason loved going to school, I loved seeing my friends, I loved learning new things and I was always excited to be in the community surrounded by fellow peers. As I promoted from a private school to a public school I noticed many new changes, some negative. I became aware of the fact that school shootings and other violent acts were a thing, which deeply saddened my heart. Going into middle school, I joined the Safe School Ambassadors Program, where we followed the See Something, Say Something training and worked to make the school a safer place. Since then I have fallen in love with wanting to make places, like schools, safe. It matters to me that others are happy and I care that people are safe and feel safe. Therefore I believe that is what drives me to such a passion for working with my amazing team to fulfill our SAVE Promise Club by growing it and building a more community-based school. That way, love, positivity, and kindness can be spread throughout my high school’s atmosphere.”

Kit Evans Rock Island, IL

 Kit Evans – Rock Island, IL

“I got involved because I saw a lot of domestic violence growing up.”

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“I got involved with SAVE at the age of 14 years old.  My high school counselor Mr. Jim Wise told me about SAVE and gave me the opportunity to join the organization as a member and also as a peer mediator in a program called PALS (Peer Action Leadership Success).  I got involved because I saw a lot of domestic violence growing up. I did not want to repeat that same story in my own personal life. SAVE gave me an alternative to see that violence did not have to be the reality.

“SAVE gave my school the content, language and curriculum needed to organize violence prevention initiatives on my high school and college campus. SAVE improved young people’s lives by giving them a positive outlet for service, advocating for violence and also leadership. The life skills learned through SAVE like leadership, standing up against injustice (crime and violence) and advocacy stay with young people for the rest of their lives.

“SAVE makes peace, not bullying, and not being involved in crime cool! SAVE changes the perspective for young people. Instead of falling under the peer pressure of a more violent school and community related to peer pressure, bullying, gun violence, and other issues related to violence it shifts the culture to speak about things like crime prevention, conflict management, and service projects. This is healthier for the school community and also for the young person’s personal life outside of school.”

 

 Ariel Kantor – Chapel Hill, NC

“From fear of going to crowded shopping centers to bomb threats at my school and the constant ringing of sirens at home, violence has tremendously impacted my life.”

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“It is said that in our past lies our future. For me, my past resides in a small town in Israel known as Maale-Adumim, a town better recognized by its unsettled history in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than by its cultural antiquity. Growing up, I witnessed many of the expressions of violence that make up this conflict. From fear of going to crowded shopping centers to bomb threats at my school and the constant ringing of sirens at home, violence has tremendously impacted my life. Therefore, when my family emigrated from Israel and I found myself in the United States, a part of me wanted to leave the turbulence of my past behind, as well. However, I quickly found that no country is completely immune to violence and that this problem was no stranger to my new home, either. Similar to other immigrants beginning to make their way in their new countries, my first years in the United States were spent living in an underprivileged neighborhood. It was shocking to me to witness the new manifestations of violence surrounding my community, from alienation and abuse of foreigners at school to the incidents of drug abuse and gun violence at my apartment complex.

“Although I will always look back at those first few years in the United States as among the most challenging of my life, I also believe that these experiences have shaped my character and influenced the person I have become. I used my unique experiences and background to grow into a leader in my community and an advocate for violence prevention and social acceptance. Since my freshman year of high school, I have become closely involved in SAVE. Through my involvement in SAVE at the local and national levels, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to help coordinate interactive projects in schools, organize school-based projects, and contribute to movements that bring awareness to bullying, substance abuse, and dating violence. I am very grateful for these experiences; they have allowed me to form meaningful relationships and connections with students across the country who share similar passions and aspirations. My past has shaped my identity; it has defined the person I have become. I hope to use my past to grow as a person and leader and to impact the lives of others.”
 

 

Jim WiseHillsborough, NC

 Jim Wise – Hillsborough, NC

“…I had students who were looking for a positive way to address some of the violence related issues at school and had wanted to start a club.”

Read Jim's Story

“I got involved in SAVE in 1997. I was working at Eastern Alamance HS as the school social worker and I had students who were looking for a positive way to address some of the violence related issues at school and had wanted to start a club. I had heard about SAVE from some other folks at a social work training I had attended and so sent for the information. We started our chapter that year and my involvement has grown since then to involvement at the national level.

“SAVE has given me an avenue to be in touch with hundreds of students over the years who want to make a positive impact on their schools and communities. By working with them I have been privileged to see some of the great ideas and positive energy they have translate into changes in climate and attitude in schools.  I’ve also seen SAVE be an incredible avenue for empowering students as leaders in their schools and on a national level. Getting to see SAVE students lead presentations and workshops in everything from elementary school classrooms and faculty meetings to national conferences and testifying in front of congress. It has been really gratifying for me to see several members of our original Youth Advisory Board who have moved on past college and into their professional lives and who continue to be involved with SAVE and in leadership positions on our Board of Directors and in some many of our events when we need volunteers. Once in SAVE always in SAVE.”

 

Share your SAVE Story!