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Students Trained To Become Mentors in Abuse and Violence Prevention

Thirty students from Holyoke High School had the opportunity to learn about violence prevention and become mentors to educate others.

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Students Trained To Become Mentors in Abuse and Violence Prevention

Mrs. Reardon, Principal Stephen Sullivan, and Athletic Director Melanie Martin (Photo Credits to Brendan Leahy)

Mrs. Reardon, Principal Stephen Sullivan, and Athletic Director Melanie Martin (Photo Credits to Brendan Leahy)

Mrs. Reardon, Principal Stephen Sullivan, and Athletic Director Melanie Martin (Photo Credits to Brendan Leahy)

Mrs. Reardon, Principal Stephen Sullivan, and Athletic Director Melanie Martin (Photo Credits to Brendan Leahy)

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In America, nearly 1.5 million high school students are in abusive relationships every year, and only 33% of those students ever tell anyone about it. An organization called “Game Change” has partnered with the Patriots and the Massachusetts Attorney General, and together they have created a way to make the subject of abuse become more prominent in high school class rooms.

Game Change originally came up with this idea around the time of “Deflategate” and Ray Rice’s abuse scandal, when Tom Brady was suspended for four games for allegedly deflating footballs and Ray Rice was filmed knocking out his girlfriend on tape and only got suspended for one game. Many people believe that the punishments these athletes were given around the same time showed how little the NFL took these issues seriously.

Throughout the month of January with the help of Mrs. Reardon, Holyoke’s Athletic Director Melanie Martin, and Holyoke High’s principle Mr.Stephen Sullivan, a group of thirty students from Holyoke High, grades nine through eleven, met three times with representatives from Northeastern University to help mentor them in violence prevention. These thirty students at Holyoke High have finished their training and are now mentors themselves.

The training is part of a state wide initiative to prevent abuse. Throughout this school year, Game Change will mentor over a thousand students in Massachusetts to be able to recognize and prevent all gender based violence.

“It was a great experience, and I met a lot of great people along the way,” said a member of MVP, Morrigan Planter ’19.

These students will now work with the Woman’s Shelter Compañeras, located at 476 Appleton Street in Holyoke. This organization works to help women who are in abusive relationships find a way out of their relationships, which is not at all as easy as it sounds.

“It was a unique eye opening experience,” said Kellen Powers ’19, who took part in the three days of training at Holyoke High. “I hope to inspire many kids to help make a change in all gender based violence.”

The group, Game Change, that started this state wide initiative to prevent all gender based violence hopes that the thousand students they have trained in this prevention method will go on and teach it to their peers. As they were able to send the important message to these thirty students at Holyoke High, they are beginning to think of ways to reach out to as many people as they can so they can make a difference.

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