Anti-Bullying Group Gives Eastport Students HOPE

Pat Fish leads Circle
Pat Fish leads Circle

A group is empowering Eastport-South Manor Central School District students with the tools they need to prevent bullying and enhance emotional wellness to prevent teen suicides during a special training session.

Sweethearts & Heroes, an upstate New York-based student empowerment and empathy activation team, is presenting a program on January 19 and 20 that teaches Hold On, Possibilities Exist! (HOPE) BRAVES Buddies, which trains older students in bully drills that they then teach to younger students, and Circle, a program built on the ancient ritual of communicating in a circle to build empathy.

“Circle is an opportunity for amazing stories to be shared and heard,” says Pat Fish, of Sweethearts & Heroes. “Some amazing stories I’ve heard are heartbreaking, others are heartwarming, and others are downright hilarious … Circle allows everyone a chance to share those stories and, more importantly, practice listening so that we can learn others’ amazing stories.”

Along with Fish, the Sweethearts & Heroes team includes Tom Murphy, the group’s director and co-founder, and Ret. U.S. Army Sgt. Rick Yarosh, a HOPE expert and motivational speaker from New York who was burned severely while serving in Iraq.

For 15 years, Sweethearts & Heroes has made presentations to more than two million students in school districts nationwide as well as workshops for businesses, nonprofits and civic groups.

Murphy said, “We go where we’re needed. That’s what heroes do.”

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