This website is in part a community service project offered by The Vision Steppers of the Bronx NY. It is intended to help teenagers identify unhealthy relationships, and serve as a resource to seek help.
What type of Community service did our team complete?
We have a three stage community service project.
As a national competition team we have the advantage of being able to take our message to many different communities around the country. We have used the showcases and competitions that we participate in to bring awareness to the issue of teen dating violence. Most recently, we hosted a three-hour workshop/showcase in during the National Stepping Association’s National Championship weekend. The event featured skits, rap sessions, give always and handouts that included a USB drive that had website resources and motivational music featuring lyrics that inspired self respect and respect for others. See the link for photos, samples and testimonies.
The first half of it is as a team we have a developed and interactive website as a resource for teens our age developed by teens, which makes us different from currently prominent sites which are mainly run by adults who can’t always relate to kids our age. The second part of our community service is going to be a one time Hack-a-Thon event whereas people will come together and either conspicuously and anonymously share their,thoughts experiences, and ideas on what it is to be in a abusive relationship and ways we can get out of those situations in life as young adults.
How has this helped our community?
Well, specifically for our demographic and age group we found that a lot of teenagers in the New York tri-State area actually are victims of abuse In their new blossoming relationships. And because abuse just doesn’t come in one form we found that in most cases some people don’t even realize that they are being abused, and by doing our community service act we have allowed people to be open and feel comfortable about their situation as well as know that they and seek out help through us.
- With this as our community service act, the Vision Steppers have planned to take action by hosting a Hack A-thon event… This can be thought of as “Party with a Purpose”
- the Hack A Thon is simply our way of getting the message out in a fashionable and trending format that will not only entertain people our age but also inform them and hopefully leave them with a lasting impact against this cause
- so pulling together our artistic and technical skills, aside from step we decided that we are not only going to advertise to other people outside of our individual circles but reach out to everyone who feels they can benefit from this
- we will do this by tweeting, facebooking, and promoting this on any type of social media through hashtags.(we know that it will become a trending idea over the course of time that this would then lead to more exposure) spreading the word about the event through posters flyers, setting up workshops and booths at the event.
- in addition, we will have speakers from the Center Against Domestic Violence speaking on the subject.
- this is event is to take place on May 18th at PS 86. open to everyone and anyone, out of everything we want to ensure that people also leave here knowing that they can receive help at websites like www.more4mylife.org and many other different safe haven outlets to help anyone who may need it the most
- by the end of this we want the people who come this event to leave with a lasting impact of rising above that situation. So we did this by creating our own symbol for self-worth of a person who finds themselves in this type of situation
- The Vision Steppers hope to help the community by opening the eyes of teenagers who deserve better than to be treated as if they are worthless, and therefore we are promoting our act of service through anti-teen violence.
We used social media to spread the word of our social campaign. We shared information about teen dating violence through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Some hashtags we used for our campaign were:
We also created an anti – teen dating violence website, more4mylife.org; where help teens identify what is a healthy relationship, warning signs of dating violence, facts and anti – abuse resources.
Our method of reaching out to people via social media the most successful because not only did we reach people from our community, but reached people from around the world.
Aside from having a very diffucult winter weather season, we faced a couple of challenges. One challenge we faced was finding and having people volunteer to share their stories regarding teen dating violence. Another challenge we faced was getting teens excited and motivated to attend our Hackathon to bring awareness to teen dating violence. We felt it was a challenge to have people share their stories with us because they were not sure what was the end goal. Once we explained to people in our community the statistics of teen dating violence and how we want to bring awareness to it, people volunteered to help us with our campaign. Violence isn’t a fun topic to speak about, but we encouraged teens to attend our Hackathon because being part of a social campaign to help out others, or even themselves, should be motivation enough. We also made the Hackathon an event where people could attend and feel comfortable to interact with one another, enjoy snacks and most importantly, spread awareness through social media.
By completing this phase of the social campaign, we have gained valuable skills that have helped us better communicate and strengthen the bond between our team and community. Through this campaign we have gained communication, networking and outreach skills. We gained these skills by interviewing teens and adults who have experienced, know someone who has experienced or is currently experiencing teen dating violence. By interviewing and listening to peoples’ stories, we enhanced our communication skills. We developed our networking and outreach skills by speaking with community leaders regarding where people should seek help and what steps are being taken to end teen dating violence.