Rosalind, 17 yrs. old, Teen Leadership Institute Participant
The leadership program hosted by Love Without Hurt was one of the most impactful groups I’ve ever been a part of. I was selected to spend last summer working in the Love Without Hurt pilot program along with several other girls from around the Columbus area. I loved how the focus was more on impacting our community rather than just talking about teen dating violence amongst ourselves. Through this program, I was allowed to continue combatting this often overlooked epidemic in our society. It was so great to be in an environment where everyone was encouraged to express their ideas. It was amazing to work with a group of girls and not have any drama because of the level of respect that we all had for each other and the fact that we were all there to help others rather than ourselves. What was even better was seeing our ideas from these discussions materialize. We witnessed the development of our projects from just ideas to being implemented in our various school systems. The mentors really worked hard to make sure we had all the resources we needed to carry out our projects, whether it was supplying cards, candy, posters, etc. Finally, my favorite part about this program was seeing the little writings on the posters that said how they appreciated them and agreed with what we were saying and hearing girls talked about how the posters and the cards helped them.
Blake, 18 yrs. old, Teen Leadership Institute Participant
Last summer, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work with amazing advisors and teens in order to spread awareness about teen dating violence. From this, a group of teenage women created a group known as Teens Helping Teens. As a member of this program, I have learned to become an advocate for those who do not have a voice. Being a part of this program has allowed me to educate others on a growing epidemic while learning about the topic myself along the way. Teen dating violence is an issue that not many people realize is a concern, and having the experience I do, I know the warning signs of an abusive relationship, and I know how to help someone if he or she is ever in danger. The experience I had with Teens Helping Teens and Love Without Hurt was life changing, and I will continue to be an advocate for the rest of my life.