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Texas CU program takes on bullying in schools
TEXAS CITY, Texas (9/23/11)--AMOCO FCU in Texas City, Texas, has introduced a program to address a growing problem in many communities: bullying in schools. The $561 million asset credit union in recent weeks has brought anti-bullying programming to some 6,500 Galveston County middle and high school students, in partnership with Rachel’s Challenge, an organization created by the family and friends of Rachel Scott, one of the students gunned down in the Columbine High School tragedy (LoneStar Leaguer Sept. 21). AMOCO FCU said it embraced the mission of Rachel’s Challenge--preventing violence and bullying by engaging youth and adults to spread acts of kindness and compassion. “Making a difference and helping people is the reason we exist and Rachel’s story was just another way for us to help people in our community-- specifically, youth and their families,” Tina Linquist, AMOCO FCU vice president of culture and communications, told the Texas Credit Union League. “What we’ve learned throughout the past few weeks is that kids are dealing with a lot of personal stress brought on by bullying and sometimes violence either at school or at home. We couldn’t just close our eyes and ignore this growing problem; after all we’re here to make a difference with our members and community.” The Rachel’s Challenge program includes student and teacher assemblies held on campus, followed by a community-wide evening event open to all students, parents, and businesses in the community. Viewers are introduced to Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School tragedy, through video of her friends and family members who describe who Rachel was and how she positively impacted their lives. AMOCO FCU team members also participate in the assemblies, which will have been presented at more than a dozen intermediate and high schools in their area. After the assemblies, a group of students are chosen to initiate a “Friends of Rachel” (F.O.R.) club for their particular school. While every student is encouraged to join the F.O.R. Club, this particular group of students is responsible for carrying on the program message throughout their school with the unified goal to make positive changes. “This program is so much more than just an assembly and an on-campus group,” Linquist said. “It brings teachers, counselors and families together as everyone can join in to help the culture on campus. “The stories that some of these students share are heart-breaking,” Linquist added. “Many students are shocked to learn about some of the terrible things their fellow students are dealing with, while others find comfort in knowing they aren’t the only ones dealing with personal issues. By the end of the 1.5 hour session, the small group of students form a bond and come together as family, which is truly amazing to see happen right before our very own eyes.” However, Linquist emphasized that the main reason AMOCO FCU gets involved with initiatives is because “it’s the right thing to do and because we are socially responsible.” “People are our business,” said Linquist. “Members are our priority, and we care about the communities they live in--and for this reason, we get involved with initiatives that make a difference.”


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