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Sandy Hook Promise Announces 2024 “Upstanders Amplified” Award Winners 

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Sandy Hook Promise is pleased to announce the 2024 winners of the “Upstanders Amplified” awards (formerly known as the “Student Voices Awards”), spotlighting students from throughout the nation using their creativity to promote safe, compassionate, and inclusive school communities.  

Winners were selected from nearly 50 unique entries this year, including a wide range of artwork, videos, poetry, digital designs, and much more. Each receives a certificate, $500, and recognition on Sandy Hook Promise platforms.  

“By providing a creative platform to voice their perspectives about school safety, young people are taking an active role in making their schools a safer, kinder place. They’re driving true culture change through their talents and sharing the ‘start with hello’ and ‘say something’ messages. It’s so inspiring to see their creations, because it reminds us all there is hope for a violence-free future,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.  

The following six winners were selected out of 49 submissions from across the country. View the winning projects.  

  • Just Start With Hello [Video] – By Raul, Florida   
  • From Fear to Success: A Journey of Empathy [Video] – By Yaseen, New Jersey   
  • Never Be Scared of Yourself [Drawing] – By Aiza and Chloe, New York  
  • All It Takes [Poem] – By Alanna, California 
  • Cincinnati Country Day School Starts With Hello [Video] – By Cincinnati Country Day School, Ohio  
  • Bystander VS. Upstander [Video] – By Paisley, Thomas, Taylor, Jenna, Jaylen, Khloe, Rachel, and Anthony of North Carolina  

To qualify for the awards, each entrant must be designed by youth and incorporate themes that relate to the Start with Hello and Say Something programs. These evidence-informed programs are proven to reduce social isolation and foster stronger relationships between students and with their Trusted Adults.  Students learn about empathy, how to spot the warning signs of violence, and when and how to get help from a Trusted Adult.  

Additional information, including commentary from the students about their creative works, is available upon request.


Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) envisions a future where all children are free from school shootings and other acts of violence. As a national nonprofit organization, SHP’s mission is to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities. Creators of the life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP teaches the warning signs of someone who may be in crisis, socially isolated, or at-risk of hurting themselves or others and how to get help. SHP also advances school safety, youth mental health, and responsible gun ownership at the state and federal levels through nonpartisan policy and partnerships. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. 

Media Contact:

Nick Dmitrovich | [email protected] | 219-552-4258