More than 100 Chicago area students gathered Saturday, October 8 at George Westinghouse College Prep in East Garfield Park for free leadership training on violence prevention hosted by local nonprofit Humanity Rising. In 2014, almost 65,800 intimate violence incidents were reported to Illinois law enforcement. Chicago students received instruction through the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) model which provides training for the prevention of bullying and other forms of relationship abuse and harm to others. At the end of the training, students were challenged to apply their new leadership skills into making a positive difference in their schools and communities. Those students who create the most positive impact will be given a platform to share their experience to inspire their peers across the county, and become eligible for a Humanity Rising Service Scholarship.
The day was made possible by Verizon Wireless and their generous grant as part of the company's HopeLine program, which provides support for domestic violence awareness and prevention. Verizon collects and refurbishes used phones in an environmentally safe way with proceeds going towards the financial support of domestic violence awareness and prevention initiatives. In fact, last year alone, the HopeLine program contributed $7 million in cash grants to domestic violence organizations nationwide, including more than $320,000 in Illinois.