HERE ARE SOME STORIES...
of lives that were changed as a result of Dr. Jay's programs; stories that inspire the change in others' as well.
Here's a letter from a high school freshman telling us how our anti-bullying program empowered her and “SAVED HER LIFE.” Stories like this are bringing about a CHANGE in our work.
When a letter says “You saved me!”...YOU PAY ATTENTION.
Sydney shared her personal story on a white lined, legal pad using her favorite pink ink pen. “I didn’t know Mr. Banks personally, but what he gave me was a chance to live a life of courage.”
She goes on to tell how a best friend had been talking behind her back and starting rumors. “I can still remember pretending I was sick, so I could stay home from school and not see her.” However, Sydney begins a new paragraph with…“FINALLY, ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH! I was not going to let this girl keep me from being happy.” Sydney goes on to explain how the strategy she learned in that brief, 40-minute elementary school assembly six years prior would be the beginning of the end of a bully campaign from a “friend,” and the beginning of confidence that would follow her through her middle and high school years.
Every program is an opportunity to change lives.” If there was ever a question as to the effectiveness of the anti-bullying program, and our not-for-profit mission it was answered by a tender, hand-written letter that ended with, “Thank you so much for saving ME, Mr. Banks!”
(used by permission)
I was STUNNED when she said it but not surprised. It explained WHY she acted the way she did during my program. But what she did AFTERWARDS has become a cornerstone of everything we do.
I was doing my STAMP Out Bullying program at an inner-city middle school in Chicago. As always, I choose five students from the audience to participate on stage (one for the "S", one for the "T", and so on). From the very beginning, the girl holding the "S" started showing off; not following instructions, making faces and laughing at me and not with me, disrupting me at every opportunity. Usually, I would have replaced her but something in my spirit told me to let her stay. Painstakingly, we got through the program. At the end, when I tell everyone in the audience that I love them, I purposely turned to her and said, "And I love you too!"
Later that evening I noticed an incoming email subject line that read, "I'm sorry." I began to read..."I want to apologize for the way I treated you during the program today, but you have to understand; I've been told all my life that white people are prejudiced." As she continued, I was astonished and heartbroken by her story. However, she concluded with, "Thank you for letting me stay on the stage and not embarrassing me." And here's what made my eyes fill with tears..."And by the way, I LOVE YOU TOO!"
This story reminds me and inspires me to remember that no matter where I am or who the audience is, someone needs to be loved...and hear it.
A not-for-profit organization
motivating individuals to develop
good moral character as a means of creating
a compassionate and responsible society.
© 2021 Jay Banks Productions, Inc.
PO Box 101 Thompsons Station, TN 37179