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Jake Ross and Siblings, Lydia and Ben: Kindness Spreaders Extraordinaire

Jake at Safe Schools bill signing in ceremony, April 9, 2014

Jake and Lydia watching Governor Dayton sign the MN Safe and Supportive Schools law in 2014

Jake Ross is the son of our board member and dear friend, Melanie Ross.  I first met Jake when he was 10 years old.  He, his mom and sister, Lydia came to OutFront Minnesota’s Youth Summit held at the beginning of the 2013 legislative session.  We were there to learn about and how to advocate for the Minnesota Safe and Supportive Schools for All bill. I had the privilege of spending quite a bit of time that spring with Jake, his mom and siblings. Jake and I along with several other students and adults testified in various committee meetings in support of the bill. It was a very powerful and emotional experience. I can’t imagine the courage it took for students who had experienced bullying like Jake to tell their story in front of a room full of legislators, reporters and an array of professionals.  The bill passed in the Senate but was stalled before a vote in the House. However, Jake and the rest of Team Ross (his mom, Melanie, and siblings, Lydia and Ben) didn’t let that huge disappointment stop them. They began with full force to gather signatures for the bill to prepare for the next legislative session. They made posters, had booths at farmer’s markets working through the rest of the year to gather support for the Safe Schools bill.  Thanks to their efforts, the crucial work by the people at OutFront MN and the legislative authors and supporters of the bill, in particular, Senator Dibble and Representative Davnie, the MN Safe and Supportive Schools bill was passed on April 9. It was signed into law the next day by Governor Dayton with Jake Ross giving a keynote speech at the signing ceremony. What a glorious day!!!!                                                                                                                    

Ross family with Senator Dibble after signing of the Safe Schools bill April 9, 2014

Ross family with Senator Dibble after signing of the Safe Schools bill April 9, 2014

 

Jake, now 13 years old and Team Ross have continued to work for safe schools. Jake is a student representative on the School Safety Technical Assistance Council at the MN Department of Education.  He has participated in several panel discussions regarding bullying. He is involved in the Gay/Straight Alliance at his school. Jake, Lydia and Ben have been very active in our newly formed JHFK Youth Action Council.  With their mom, Melanie, there every step of the way providing support, encouragement and modeling kindness and compassion like none other – Jake, Lydia and Ben are change-makers, up-standers and spreaders of kindness who have already made the world a brighter, safer and kinder place.  They have been an inspiration and beacon of hope to me personally.  I am profoundly grateful for their friendship, their example of perseverance and kindness and their support.

Below is the information that Jake gave me about his latest effort for his Eagle Scout Badge- Promoting Kindness projects that will culminate on the evening of Wednesday, September 30 at his church in Forest Lake, MN.  I am so honored to have been asked by Jake to be a speaker at this awesome event. Jake and his volunteers have been promoting kindness all summer at events in his community and elsewhere asking people to sign a kindness banner that he is donating to JHFK. Please join us for the parade in Scandia, MN on September 12 and the main event on September 30 and be sure to sign your name to the banner for kindness!! :)

Here is information from Jake about his Kindness Promotion project and events: 

 

The most recent 2013 Minnesota Student Survey reported almost

half (45.8%) of all students in grades 8, 9, and 11 are bullied in school.

**  Kindness Can Help  ** 

Faith Lutheran Church invites all Community members to : 

Community Gathering :  Kindness Promotion Event

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Faith Lutheran Church

886 North Shore Drive

Forest Lake, MN

 

Program includes :

Music by Faith Lutheran Church Youth Band

Audience Participation

Keynote Speaker: Ann Gettis

 

We are Proud to have Ann Gettis as our Keynote Speaker : 

Ann Gettis is the Founder and Executive Director of “Jeremiah’s Hope for Kindness” – an organization whose mission is to foster kind and respectful schools and communities.  Ann Gettis is an expert on bullying prevention, and is an Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer.  Ann Gettis has much experience educating youth and adults about how to prevent bullying and promote kindness.   At this event, Ann will speak about the harmful effects of bullying, how to prevent bullying, and she will inspire everyone with her message of Hope and Kindness ! 

Join Us In Supporting the Message of Hope and Kindness ! 

Contacts :      Jake Ross at : 20jakeros@flaschools.org  or  651-982-0421                  Faith Lutheran Church at : 651-464-3323  

**  This event is being organized and lead by Jake Ross –  student, Boy Scout, and bullying prevention advocate.  Jake is organizing and leading this Kindness Promotion Community Gathering as his Boy Scout Eagle Scout Project.  A special Thank You to :  Faith Lutheran Church for hosting and supporting this Community Gathering; and to Boy Scout Troop 733 for your support.  ** 

 

Jake also wrote:  “Kindness is a very important thing because, as the quote says, “Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about.” For example, the most recent 2013 Minnesota Student Survey found that 45.8% of students in grades 8, 9, and 11 report being bullied. This is nearly half of all students being hurt by bullying, this is way too many youth being hurt from bullying.  Every time someone decides to start choosing kindness, it becomes easier to change these statistics.  I am currently working on my Boy Scout Eagle Scout Project, with the goal of spreading kindness in my community. This project is centered on an event called “Community Gathering :  Kindness Promotion” event.  This event will take place this fall on September 30, 2015 in Forest Lake, MN. The event will be about how to prevent bullying and spread kindness.  I am proud that Ann Gettis will be the keynote speaker at this Kindness Promotion Community Gathering.  Ann Gettis is the Founder and Executive Director of “Jeremiah’s Hope for Kindness” – an organization whose mission is to foster kind and respectful schools and communities.  Ann Gettis is an expert on bullying prevention, and is an Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer.  Ann Gettis has much experience educating youth and adults about how to prevent bullying and promote kindness.   At this event, Ann will speak about the harmful effects of bullying, how to prevent bullying, and she will inspire everyone with her message of Hope and Kindness ! I am promoting the “Community Gathering : Kindness Promotion” event this summer and early fall with “Jeremiah’s Hope For Kindness” booths at local community events.  You can find me and my fellow boy scouts, along with other caring youth and adult volunteers, at the following events:  the Taco Daze Parade on Saturday, September 12th at 3:00 p.m. in Scandia; and during “Faith Break” at Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings – September 13th, 20th, and 27th.”

 You are Invited to the – “Community Gathering : Kindness Promotion” event – on: Wednesday, September 30th from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church – 886 North Shore Drive in Forest Lake, MN.  Come get inspired with the message of hope, kindness, and the power of making the world a better place.   Thank You for Choosing Kindness !   :) 

— Jake Ross, bullying prevention advocate.

Jake named "Upstander of the Week" by the Bully Project 2013

Jake named “Upstander of the Week” by the Bully Project 2013

 

2013, Jake with Representative Davnie and Senator Dibble, co-authors of the Safe Schools bill

2013, Jake with Representative Davnie and Senator Dibble, co-authors of the Safe Schools bill

 

Jake, Lydia and Ben Ross with their Certificates of Appreciation for being our "Kids Choosing Kindness" recipients this month and Ann Gettis, director of Jeremiah's Hope for Kindness.

Jake, Lydia and Ben Ross with their Certificates of Appreciation for being our “Kids Choosing Kindness” recipients and Ann Gettis, director of Jeremiah’s Hope for Kindness.

Jake giving speech at signing of the MN Safe Schools bill, 2014

Jake giving speech at signing of the MN Safe Schools bill, 2014

Jake, Melanie, Lydia and Ben volunteering at a charity preparing food for the hungry

Jake, Melanie, Lydia and Ben volunteering at a charity preparing food for the hungry

 

Jake on panel on bullying, 2015

Jake on panel on bullying, 2015

 

Jake holding his Kindness Pledge banner for his Eagle Scout project, 2015

Jake holding his Kindness Pledge banner for his Eagle Scout project, 2015

Jake's Eagle Scout Kindness Promotion booth, 2015

Jake’s Eagle Scout Kindness Promotion booth, Forest Lake, MN 2015

Signing the Kindness Banner at Jake's Eagle Scout booth at the Northern Burbs Pride, 2015

Signing the Kindness Banner at Jake’s Eagle Scout booth at the Northern Burbs Pride, 2015

Jake's Eagle Scout Kindness booth at Northern Burbs Pride, 2015

Jake’s Eagle Scout Kindness booth at Northern Burbs Pride, 2015

Comments

  1. Wow !! Dear Ann, This article (blog) is so very, very Wonderful — I am filled with emotion at reading what you have written ! — Please know that this is so appreciated and has filled my heart with love. — I think the world of you – as does Jake, and Lydia & Ben — It is OUR honor to know you and to have shared this incredible journey of getting the MN Safe Schools bill made into Law, and working to prevent bullying in the time since the bill has become Law. You are so special and important to us – all of us at Team Ross ! Thank You for being who you are, and for making our world a better place, along with the rest of the world a better place !! So much Gratitude to you, Melanie, Jake, Lydia & Ben – “Team Ross”.

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