Creating a Safe Place

Were you ever bullied as a kid? I think most of us can recall at least a incident or two of being bullied as a child; we may even remember with some embarrassment a time when we bullied another. Bulling is a big problem in schools, one that seems to only grow more harmful each year with the ever=increasing popularity of social media.


Photo by Darin Reyes

I remember being bullied as a child, but while it did upset me, I always knew I had an escape from it. At home I would never have to be picked on by other kids, and my street and block were full of kids who were my friends. I knew the moment I got to my neighborhood that I could be at peace.

But kids today don’t always have that place of refuge. Teenagers and preteens face constant pressure thanks to social media, and for many of our Leaven kids, the bullies live right next door, within their apartment complex.

That’s why we go beyond tutoring at The Leaven. We teach each of our students to not only treasure themselves, but to also treat others with kindness and respect. Every Leaven kid knows that our centers are a safe place of refuge. Our students work together to build each other up and create this safe place.

Further, our staff and volunteers continue to go above and beyond for our students. Just this summer, one of our students stopped coming to our program for several days. Worried, his Site Director called home and learned that this student was being bullied while walking to and from our program.

Our staff took action, working with the community managers and the student’s parents to help stop the bullying. Not only that, but she also began walking with the student to and from our center, helping him confront the bullies and stopping them from harming our student, physically or emotionally.

We’re so proud that all of our Site Directors and volunteers will eagerly stand up for what’s right and protect our students. They lead by example, empowering students to treat others with kindness and work together to keep each other safe. They are just one more way we’re helping kids and communities rise.

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