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Northlands anti-bullying effort continues

VERGENNES — On Friday, Sept. 19, Northlands Job Corps formally kicked off another year of its anti-bullying program with a special assembly. It was the culmination of the official Y2Y (Youth-to-Youth) Week at the federal job training program in Vergennes.
The Y2Y initiative is a nationwide, student-led program that promotes safety and security at Job Corps Centers and their host communities. There have been several weeks of discussions at Job Corps programs around the country centered on how to make students aware of, and how to prevent, bullying on Job Corps Centers and in their adjacent communities prior to the national initiative kickoff.
Following an introduction by Center Director George Sabol, the student Y2Y committee presented a video that focused on this important subject of ending bullying. The Northland’s Y2Y team continued the assembly with a passionate and energetic anti-bullying presentation by local celebrities Bruce & Hobbes. As usual, the duo Bruce Zeman and his dachshund Hobbes brought down the house.
During their presentation, which riveted the students and commanded their full attention, Bruce & Hobbes discussed some of the causes of bullying, and what students can do about it. With Hobbes on campus, the students were able to see bullying’s effects, and how they could make a difference.
At the conclusion of the presentation, Bruce & Hobbes left the stage, and walked to the other end of the gymnasium. At that point, Bruce asked the entire student body who would “stand behind him” to end bullying, and make Northlands a better place. Almost immediately, the stands emptied, as almost every student got involved, and pledged to help rid the world (and especially Vergennes) of bullying.
To further illustrate several of his points, Bruce invited the students to take photos of the group and post them on social media, which many of them did. The response was immediate, and school officials say it was impressive.
“Northlands students can, and when given the opportunity, will lead by example,” Northlands officials said in a press release. “Launching this program, since it is already recognized as ‘ground-breaking,’ will certainly help make a real difference on the center.”
Northlands staff and students plan to meet weekly in an open forum set up to discuss various topics and issues, all of which will have the goal of further promoting the Y2Y partners for peace initiatives.

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