Led by students establishing a bystander culture to stop bullying, Stand For Courage employs stories, creativity, and popular-culture for high-impact recognition inspiring relationships built on respect.


We support youth leaders and adults by providing them with materials to Teach, Recognize and Reward.

Stand For Courage Team

TEACH: The Stand for Courage curriculum explicitly addresses how to prevent and respond to aggressive behavior. This can occur at schools, community organizations, and sports camps along with other youth-focused venues.

RECOGNIZE: Adults and youth can nominate anyone grades 6-12 that stands for courage. The nomination process takes place in schools, community organizations, camps and on our website. Our program will eventually expand to serve youth of all ages.

REWARD: Stand for Courage winners are eligible for prizes such as tickets to sporting events and concerts, a celebrity visit to school, a feature on our website, cool Stand for Courage gear and more.

We combine sustainable, evidence-based, community and school-focused educational programs with the power of pop culture and media to reward acts of courage with high-impact recognition.

We recognize that youth are harmed through destructive relationships and may heal in nourishing relationships. Stand for Courage is where pop culture and peer culture converge to make the positive difference.

Stand For Courage works with community organizations, camps, schools and other agencies to move toward the goal of empowering, engaging and educating youth.

Why We Do It

Establishing a positive climate is first the responsibility of adults and leaders.

The tools of teaching, recognizing and rewarding create an environment where everyone is focused on the positive. Bullying is a community-wide pandemic with dramatic implications for our nation as a whole.

Stand For Courage

About 1 in 5 children (19.7 percent) reported having been teased or emotionally bullied in the previous year (US Department of Justice, Finkelhor et al., 2009) 7,066,000 students reported being bullied during the 2008-2009 school year (US Department of Justice, DeVoe & Murphy, 2011), the equivalent of nearly 40,000 students bullied every day of the school year.

There is a strong connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide, according to a new study from the Yale School of Medicine (Kim, Y.S., Leventhal, B., 2008).

Peer abuse has considerable short and long-term impact on victims and bullies, as well as bystanders. It leads to low self-esteem, lack of motivation, violence, self-destructive behaviors, and tragically, even suicide. When the climate of a school or youth center implicitly or explicitly allows bullying behaviors it disrupts the learning process and increases stress levels within that environment. Without intervention, victims and bullies can grow up to perpetuate the cycle of dominance and submission.

Stand For Courage Presentation

How We’re Unique

We collaborate with local and national celebrities and other figures of popular influence to reward and recognize. By introducing youth to influential community members who can serve as positive role models, we encourage them to demonstrate and grow their leadership skills.

We apply best evidence-based practices – methods with results proven to have the greatest impact.

We work with educational institutions to develop research-based programs, which support a youth culture that is inclusive and free of peer abuse.

We partner with existing programs. Stand for Courage works with community organizations, camps, schools, and other agencies to move toward the goal of uplifting, empowering, engaging, and educating youth.

We encourage healthy and positive community cultures for youth – enabling them to have positive experiences in their daily lives, which will serve as a model culture for their future.


All behavior has a motivation. If we want to change a behavior we must uncover the motivation and reverse the incentive. For example, researchers estimate that ninety percent of bullying is a result of wanting to get attention. To shift attention away from negative and toward positive Stand For Courage provides attention in the form of awards and recognition to those who are disrupting the cycle of bullying. This process is reversing the incentives.

Stand For Courage will disrupt the cycle of bullying using a science-based methodology of positive reinforcement to incentivize bystanders to “Stand for Courage.” We will teach youth how to stand up against bullying behaviors and then reward them using high-impact reward and recognition. Building on foundations of neurobiology, we encourage a shift away from standing by without taking action. We inspire youth to feel that it is cool to do the right thing and stand up against behaviors that disrespect and put down others.

This approach seeks to explicitly motivate bystanders. Bystanders possess a great deal of power to shift attention away from the negative and toward the positive.

Research Abstract

Research abstract coming soon.
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