Six members of the Helping Everyone Respect Others (H.E.R.O.) organization at Penn Yan Academy (PYA) brought their respecting others and anti-bullying messages to Keuka College Oct. 20.
PYA seniors Allie Peterson and Daina Mottler, co-founders of the group, said they started the organization because they were upset at the way some students were treating each other.
“Our goal is to help people learn to respect and stop judging others,” said Mottler. “The more people realize what they say and do hurts others, the less likely they are to do so in the future.”
Peterson shared her personal story of abuse and neglect, and spoke on the group’s four main principles: what can we do for our community, what can we do for our school, what can we do for each other, and what can we do for ourselves.
Members of the group have spoken at Dundee Central School, the Harley School, Keuka Arts Festival, and Penn Yan Fireman’s carnival, among others.
Joining Mottler and Peterson were Ryan Hearton, Emily White, Rachel Giordano, and Brandon Grace.
After the presentation, those attending the luncheon were invited to sign a pledge to respect other and receive a H.E.R.O. bracelet.