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Celebrate the Hero, an anti-bullying project that focuses on, as the name suggests, celebrating the daily hero rather than putting the emphasis on the bully. The program involves a mix of social media, presentations and follow-up meetings with the schools.
Nick Foley hopes to reach as many youth as possible, and is looking to adapt students’ blog entries into a book that will create a legacy in the eradication of bullying. It’s a feeling of sameness that invites discussion and creates a safe space for students to explore the consequences of bullying—emotional and otherwise.
Four Questions with Nick Foley
1. How did the idea for the business model come about?
To be honest it kind of evolved slowly. I was asked by schools and community groups if I would be interested in doing talks, locally, based on the ideology of my book. Often times I was asked if I could tailor the talk around bullying. So after some research I quickly came to the conclusion that many programs that were available concentrated on the “bullying” aspect. I wanted to start an initiative that celebrates the good that people do and take the attention off of the “bullies.” I also felt that as a teacher who has seen many guest speakers come to schools that there was need to design a program that will be implemented and running throughout the entire school year, months after I have presented. I felt that it is equally as important to have an initiative in place that not only motivates but empowers students to make a difference. Not only does this initiative focus on anti-bullying, choices and getting involved but it also encourages students to get involved through literacy.
We feel that through social media avenues and blogging we can give students a voice, by turning their entries into a book we can provide a sense of legacy that they can take with them through their journey, and reflect upon the fact they contributed to a cause.
2. How did you decide to join this sector?
I spent six years as a teacher, teaching overseas and in Canada and I certainly loved being one; however I felt that I could make more of a difference if I could turn my attention to what I felt passionate about, and for me it was motivating. I have always wanted to work for myself, and I felt that if I was ever going to do it the time was now. I knew that I wanted my company to do be a success but in doing so I also wanted to create something that could potentially make a difference and contribute to the lives of others. And to me bullying, the importance of getting involved in your life and choices, were three issues that I knew I wanted to be able to touch upon. I quickly found out that there were others that felt the same way and slowly my idea became a reality. We want people to act locally and think globally.
3. How did you get your inspiration?
I am so blessed that I surround myself with such amazing friends and family. My mom and dad have been so supportive throughout my life and I am so lucky to have them. The team at Celebrate the Hero are pretty amazing too; they push me to be better and are continually coming up with new initiatives and missions for our clients. I have to say; reading what young people contribute on our blog is a pretty inspiring part of my job, many entries are so insightful. I love the look on the faces when I am speaking to schools or organizations that say, “I can get involved, I can make a difference.”
4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
I enjoy going for walk by the water, whenever I am feeling a bit overwhelmed I find that it helps me re-focus on what it is I am trying to do. I try and take little breaks throughout the day to recharge, sometimes that means reading or writing sometimes it means going to the movies (which I tend to do often). For me it is important to have a healthy balance, of work and living actively, it is difficult at times but I do my best to find it. That said, I literally jump out of bed every morning because I love what I do and what the day brings, having that feeling in itself is what I need to stay creative. As far as rituals go, I guess I like to listen to the same songs before a presentation; it helps to keep me focused. I also touch my faith rock before I leave the house for luck. But that’s a secret.