Beneficiary Spotlight:                                                                                                       

Holocaust Center’s “UpStanders: Stand Up To Bullying Initiative

For one night only, on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 8 p.m., One Voice Orlando: A Celebration in Song will be performed in the Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 South Magnolia Avenue in downtown Orlando, FL. Tickets are $25-$125 and are available at www.drphillipscenter.org or by calling 844-513-2014. All performers are donating their services to maximize the dollars being raised. Ticket sales benefit six organizations that support the diversity, understanding and vital emergency response for the greater Orlando community. Additional information on One Voice Orlando can be found online at www.operaorlando.org/one-voice.

As a special lead up to the concert, the organizations that will benefit from the funds raised on September 11 share some of the outstanding work they are producing to make Central Florida a better place to live in the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy.

Empowering Youth to Make a Difference

By Bailey Robb (brobb@holocaustedu.org), Upstanders Program Coordinator

Thanks to community support, students across Central Florida are making a difference in their schools. Inspired by the true stories of Holocaust Rescuers, 7th graders participating in the Holocaust Center’s UpStanders Program have been speaking out against bullying and other forms of peer mistreatment in Orlando schools. The partnership between Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Stand Up Orlando campaign and the Holocaust Center’s UpStanders Program, brought bullying prevention programming to all OCPS middle schools in the City of Orlando. At the end of the school year, two students from each participating school were rewarded for their UpStander behavior with recognition at an Orlando Magic home game.

 

One of those students, Max (above) was given the award for being an UpStander in his middle school. Max attended the Magic game with his mom, who could not be more proud of her son for being an UpStander. Max was nominated by his teachers, who said, “Max is a friend to everyone no matter their race or gender.  He is always well mannered and looking out for the best interest of everyone.  He is one of the first ones who will report to the administration if anyone is having a problem, bullying, fighting, gossiping, etc.  He has the best interests of the student body in mind and he is a very caring young man.”

 

Entering its’ seventh year, the UpStanders Program continues to highlight the importance of kindness and acceptance in Central Florida schools. Generous donations from the community, local school districts, the City of Orlando, and organizations like Opera Orlando allow the Holocaust Center to reach more students every year. Now, perhaps more than ever, young people need to know that they have the power to make a difference. In a world of conflict and violence, students need to know that they are safe at school: safe to learn, safe to grow, safe to express themselves, and safe to stand up for what is right.