Building Peace, One Teen at a Time
In our divided and bellicose world, peace can seem like an amorphous and unattainable concept. AHA! Peace Builders serves as a reminder that peace begins within each of us and only then can it emerge between individuals and eventually grow to be fostered among more and more people.
Rooted in AHA!’s five pillars of Mindfulness, Resilience, Awareness, Empathy, and Connection, AHA! Peace Builders offers an inspired and tangible strategy to support participants in building positive relationships and promoting environments of belonging at school. Teens learn the skills needed to become leaders on their school campus, participating in events where their empowered leadership offers support to better and uplift their community.
“The whole point of Peace Builders is to impact the climate of the school,” says Brandon Battle, AHA! Director of Programs. “It’s about learning how to dive inward and become really self-aware and socially aware… to become your most genuine self. Then you serve as a role model and leader who brings that out in other people.”
AHA! Peace Builders participants:
•Practice being an active participant in creating a positive, welcoming campus climate
•Meaningfully, authentically connect with each other while building self-awareness and social-emotional, leadership, and community-building skills
•Learn and practice Connection Circle leadership to help others feel safe, seen, and appreciated
•Help build the world they want to live in through the language they use and the choices they make – including peacefully yet powerfully intervening or speaking out when necessary
AHA! Peace Builders is just part of AHA!’s array of in-school and off-campus programs. The organization has provided social-emotional learning (SEL) to more than 55,000 middle and high school students since its founding in 1999.
It’s a big number and the organization’s effectiveness is even more impressive. At one struggling high school that received AHA!’s in-school programming, for example, suspensions dropped 70 percent and standardized test scores rose by 11 points.
In all its programs, AHA! works to help teenagers remember what it’s like to connect in person, human to human, deeply and vulnerably – the most important antidote to the distress of separateness and fear. A goal of all AHA! programs, according to Executive Director Roxana Petty, is “to dismantle hate and counteract disconnection and despair… the root causes of heartbreaking school shootings.”
With your help, AHA!’s legacy can continue for generations to come.
(805) 770-7200 x 2
Senior Director of Development Molly Green
AHA! equips teenagers, educators, and parents with social and emotional intelligence to dismantle apathy, prevent despair, and interrupt hate-based behavior.
Begin to Build a Relationship
We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s director of development and/or Executive Director.
It’s never been harder to be a teenager. Social isolation, skyrocketing gun violence, social media divisiveness, bullying and discrimination, and persistent anxiety about an uncertain world have led to unprecedented levels of mental health issues in youth. For me – as a donor, volunteer, and now board member of AHA! – I know we must show up for our teenagers now more than ever, and this program is the surest way I know to make a profound difference. AHA! provides lifetime tools for social and emotional well-being, enabling teens to better care for themselves, each other, and their communities.
Providing a Path to Peace
All donations to AHA! go to direct services for its programs, as one of the nonprofit’s longtime supporters continues to cover operational expenses. A gift of $25,000 enables AHA! to offer one school a customized AHA! Peace Builders curriculum emphasizing empathy, agency, and kindness; this would serve up to 40 students for the full school year. Gifts of any size are more than welcome and allow AHA! to continue to provide all of its SEL-based in-school, after-school, and summer programs for students, parents, and teachers.
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