Teacher Testimonial: Equipping Young People To Thrive Over Bullying, Hate and Prejudice
By giving young people a voice and a platform to show each other that bullying and hate have no place in our society, Project Rockit brings about real change. I first connected with Project Rockit in 2013, I was looking for workshops and programs that would remind my students of the importance of taking a stand against bullying and discrimination. I was also mindful that, although they heard about this message frequently from myself and their teachers, hearing this message come from people close to their own age would have distinct advantages.
Project Rockit offers face-to-face and online workshops that empower young people to take a stand against bullying, discrimination and hate. The strength of Project Rockit’s message and impact, lies in the fact that it is a youth-driven organization. As a result, they are able to connect and communicate with young people in ways that they understand and through the social media platforms that they use, in their everyday lives.
I believe that Project Rockit helps prepare students to be powerful voices for change, within their school and online communities. This approach allows Project Rockit to achieve a great deal of influence with the students whose lives they touch. The workshops and programs are just the beginning for Project Rockit; their impact is truly felt in what happens after a student takes part in a Project Rockit workshop – when they take on what they have heard and then put it into action.
I have seen firsthand, how contact with Project Rockit transforms young people. I have seen attitudes changed, minds opened, and possibilities explored, as a result of our students, staff and parents working with Project Rockit. Recently, our school was invited to the launch of Project Rockit’s Digital Ambassadors Program; a joint initiative between Project Rockit, Facebook and Instagram, that aims to give young people the opportunity to be the leaders of their digital world.
Our students were so impassioned by what they experienced at the launch, that they were already planning how they would introduce the Digital Ambassadors Program, as we made our way back to school. This is the power of Project Rockit – they can make young people want to make an immediate difference in their world!
"By giving young people a voice and a platform to show each other that bullying and hate have no place in our society, Project Rockit brings about real change."
Since their first time working with our students, Project Rockit has become an important part of our school’s wellbeing programs, offerings and delivery. We incorporate the use of Project Rockit Online into our school’s Wellbeing Curriculum, UP (Unlimited Potential). The values of our school align strongly with those of Project Rockit, and it has been wonderful to see our school community continue to benefit from working with and for this truly amazing group of individuals, dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young people.
We’ve been involved with Project Rockit Online since its inception, our students were involved in the initial discussions about the program’s content and we then acted as one of the trial schools, who tested the initial program, providing feedback directly to Project Rockit and the developers involved in the creation of the final product used today. So Project Rockit’s programmes have truly been designed for schools, with young people at the centre.
The Project Rockit program prepares young people for a world where diversity is valued, difference is accepted and every person has the opportunity to express their true self and not be judged. This isn’t just important, it is vital. By giving young people a voice and a platform to show each other that bullying and hate have no place in our society, Project Rockit brings about real change.
I have been honoured and humbled to see the influence Project Rockit has had on my students. When Project Rockit tells my students that their voice matters, they listen because it is a youthful, passionate and determined voice that gives them this message – and that is what makes Project Rockit so powerful!
If you want to get started with Project Rockit… A great starting point would be to sign your school up to be a part of the Digital Ambassadors Program. It’s currently open to schools in Australia, but I am certain that this is an initiative that can spread all over the world. The Digital Ambassadors Program is a proactive way to allow your students to become the voice for change that is required in our world today.
When we give our students a say about how they can stand against bullying, hate and discrimination, the social movement that Project Rockit wants to see created, is given the influence and voice that is needed to make a real difference. Project Rockit wants to bring school communities together, by giving young people the platform to be a force for good and agents for change.
Adam Somes is passionate about empowering students to reach beyond themselves and achieve their full potential. In addition to being a classroom teacher and educational leader, he works with Adolescent Success, an Australian-based organisation dedicated exclusively to the education, development and growth of young adolescents. You can find him and his thoughts on Twitter, @adamsomes.