Raleigh, N.C. – April 14, 2014 – The National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to decreasing the potential for violence in schools and communities, recognized exceptional participants in its annual awards program. SAVE’s Student of the Year, Advisor of the Year and Chapter of the Year were all nominated by community members from across the country and are recognized for their outstanding efforts in preventing violence in our schools.
SAVE’s Student of the Year award went to Zachery Bekke, a senior at Bunn High School in North Carolina. Bekke co-founded his SAVE chapter four years ago and has been voted president ever since. He continually demonstrates outstanding leadership and commitment to the SAVE ideals, serving as a role model for not only other SAVE members, but students throughout the school. During Beeke’s time as president, gangs, bullying and crime have decreased tremendously. He was nominated by his SAVE chapter advisor, Ruby Savage.
The SAVE Advisor of the Year award went to Carol Jackson from White Oak High School in North Carolina. In addition to serving as advisor for White Oak High School’s SAVE chapter, Jackson also leads chapters at Hunters Creek Middle and Elementary Schools. As the social worker at each of these schools, Jackson has a unique ability to see things through her students’ eyes and makes a different in each of their lives. Jackson’s dedication to SAVE has made a tremendous impact on its members at each school.
Lastly, the SAVE Chapter of the Year award went to Biloxi High School in Biloxi, Miss. The Biloxi High School SAVE Chapter has conducted numerous activities during Safe Schools Week and Red Ribbon Week including creating PSAs, posters, banners, hosting pledge drives and putting on school wide assemblies. It shows commitment to not only its school, but also the local community by organizing clothing, toy and food drives. In addition, the Biloxi High School SAVE Chapter has been active in teen safe driving efforts throughout the year, conducting monthly seatbelt checks and reinforcing the dangers of drinking and driving in a DUI reenactment during prom week. The Biloxi High School SAVE chapter is led by its advisor, Daisy Watson.
“These three award winners exemplify the true spirit of SAVE,” said Carleen Wray, executive director of SAVE. “The steps they have taken in their schools and communities go above and beyond what we could have ever imagined when SAVE began 25 years ago.”
The winners were revealed at the SAVE Summit, which was held April 12 at the McKimmon Center at N.C. State University in Raleigh. More than 250 people attended including SAVE participants, students, teachers, law enforcement, dropout prevention coordinators, social workers, counselors and parents. Through motivating workshops, peer-to-peer presentations and nationally acclaimed speakers, the Summit showcased successful practices in preventing violence and trained participants in effective ways to make their schools and communities safer.
In addition to announcing the awards, the Summit was also a chance for SAVE to celebrate 25 years of engaging, empowering and educating youth in violence prevention techniques. Since its inception in 1989, SAVE has mentored and provided resources, confidence and support to empower student leadership and help make their schools and communities violence-free.
Marking the 25th Anniversary, SAVE is hosting a fundraising campaign aimed at raising $25,000 to support chapters and safer schools across the country. The funds raised will cover the cost to establish or renew 125 SAVE chapters at U.S. elementary, middle and high schools and colleges. Interested schools can complete the quick application on the fundraising website. Interested donors can learn more about SAVE’s 25th anniversary campaign at https://www.causes.com/campaigns/74613-help-prevent-youth-violence.
For more information on SAVE, please visit www.nationalsave.org. To help make a difference in our schools, please consider donating at https://www.causes.com/campaigns/74613-help-prevent-youth-violence.
About the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere:
SAVE started at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, N.C. in 1989 following the tragic death of a student who was trying to break up a fight at an off-campus party. Students met first to console each other, then as an organization to promote youth safety and to work together to prevent future incidents from occurring. SAVE provides education about the effects and consequences of violence and helps provide safe activities for students, parents and communities. For more information on SAVE or starting a SAVE chapter, visit www.nationalsave.org, or contact SAVE at (866) 343-SAVE to receive free start-up materials and guidance.