SAVE OUR NEXT GENERATION INC.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Passion is a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for someone or something. Passion can range from eager interest in or admiration for an idea, proposal, or cause; to enthusiastic enjoyment of an interest or activity; to strong attraction, excitement, or emotion towards a person. I have often heard the phrase; I've found my passion. But how does one find his or her passion or even know if it's true?
In late November of 2017, I was inspired to organize an Anti-Bullying Rally after learning about a string of bully-related suicides among children throughout our Nation. This was not the first time that I had heard of these heartbreaking tragedies, but this time was different! I found myself drawn to the sufferings and could not understand my intrigue. One day I recall vividly staring up at the sky from my office window asking God-what could I possibly do to help make a difference and thinking there was probably nothing I could do except to pray. So, I prayed for the victims’ families while praying for God to use me in some way to help. A few days later, I was still waiting and asking-what can I do? But my prayers were not being answered fast enough, or so I thought! Therefore, I came up with some ideas of my own to get things moving along which went nowhere. At this point, I was feeling pretty anxious as if I was running out of time. It was the strangest thing I had ever experienced. But at the same time, I felt strongly about not giving up. I asked again, Lord if there is something I can do, please show me a sign. I heard a quiet voice inside saying be patient. While patience is certainly not a strong suit, I settled myself down and waited. After weeks of waiting with much anticipation, I awoke from my sleep one morning with a vision to have an Anti-Bullying Rally. What, I know nothing about organizing a rally! Feeling nervous and still uncertain about the vision, I proceeded with planning the event with the help of my wonderful family and a supportive friend.
One Sunday morning while getting dressed for church, I received an unexpected call from a friend- saying God had given her a song to write and sing at the rally. I laughed surprisingly saying...I didn't know you could sing! The song titled “Be Nice Save A Life" was beautiful and quite moving. As the date drew closer for the rally, I started feeling fearful because as quiet as it’s kept, I have a fear of speaking in front of large crowds. So, my plan was to just get someone else to do all the talking while I smiled and waved from the background. But God had other plans to deal with my stage fright. I had a testimony that I wanted to share with the church congregation for months concerning a miraculous healing received for a serious illness, but I was reluctant to do so for obvious reasons. Two weeks prior to the anti-bullying rally, I felt compelled to give my testimony one particular morning at church. It was hilarious because I jokingly tried to get my Pastor to share it for me instead. Shortly, after giving my testimony, I realized that God was actually preparing me with the courage needed to take the stage for the upcoming event.
The weather forecast was predicted to be freezing cold and raining the day of the event. I attempted to cancel several times but just could not bring myself to do it-even with folks urging me to reschedule. The rally took place as scheduled with approximately 60 guests attending. The rain indeed showed up but slacked up just long enough to get us through the event which was very nice. As I was driving away from the venue after the rally ended, I felt an urge to look towards the sky. I immediately saw the sun slowly coming through a cloud shining very brightly. I could even feel the sun’s warmth on my face. I chuckled and thought to myself, so now the sun comes out! But just as quickly as the sun came-it left just as abruptly leaving me mystified. As I continued driving and talking with the MC of the event, I said to her the crowd was not as big as I had hoped. And, just as I said those very words, a quiet voice inside said-it’s not about how many people attended. My thoughts quickly reverted back to what I had just witnessed moments before. My obedience and faith had been tested and I knew without a doubt that the encounter was a wink of approval from God!
While the rally was informative, I felt there was still much more I could do. Meanwhile, I started researching in regard to why kids bully. I also wanted to learn more about helping not only victims of bullying but their aggressors as well. While going through this process, I started to remember that I have always been an upstander. I often stood up for my siblings, friends and even students I didn’t know who were being bullied. While I was often bullied in school, I could defend myself. But what about those that feel they cannot defend themselves for whatever reason and feel there is no way out? However, with the help of our communities, I believe we can make an incredible impact on eradicating bullying. I know all too well that our Educators can certainly use our support in dealing with this crisis.
In 2018, I pursued help in starting a nonprofit organization. I would also need a very special name for the nonprofit. One evening, while reading the book of Psalm, I took pause for a moment to think about a name. I was thinking of flipping through the Bible in hopes of finding one. But the name was already leaping out right before me “Psalm.” I quickly grabbed a pen and pad to write it down for memory, but what I wrote down was the word “SONG.” Then within minutes before I could even ponder what I had written “SAVE OUR NEXT GENERATION” was magically rolling off my tongue. A very special name for an organization that’s destined to bring about change for generations to come. It took a lot of stopping and going on my behalf before the organization was completed. But I never lost sight of the vision which finally came together the Year of 2020 (20/20 vision). Some may ask why take on such a challenge?
My Answer: Passion has found me and I answered its call!!!
According to the National Education Association, there are over 200,000 kids that refuse to go to school each day for fear of being bullied. Statistics suggest that revenge due to bullying is the number one motivator for school shootings in the US. Nearly 75% of school shootings have been linked to harassment and bullying. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a strong link between bullying and suicide, as suggested by recent related suicides in the US and other countries. According to studies by Yale University, bully-victims are between 2-9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims. Nearly 1 in 5 students report being bullied during school, impacting over 5 million youth annually according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Bullying statistics are at an alarming rate and warrants serious actions!