Lena: Preventing Violence After Parkland

Lena Kalandjian, a junior at North Broward Preparatory School in Florida and National Youth Advisory Board member

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Lena Kalandjian, a junior at North Broward Preparatory School in Florida and National Youth Advisory Board member

Lena Kalandjian, a junior at the North Broward Preparatory School in Florida, has been involved in several Sandy Hook Promise programs since the seventh-grade, but when 17 students were killed in 2018 just eight miles away at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, she knew something had to change. 

It wasn’t long before the tragedy that Lena was instrumental in starting the school’s SAVE Promise Club. Within the first day more than 40 students became members of the club. 

“No student should have to experience what my town had to,” she said. “School should be a place of learning and growing, not a place that students should be scared of.”

By being involved with the Club, Lena learned that change begins with small acts of kindness, and that you don’t have to wait around for adults to do something. “Lives can be saved,” she said, “just by simply reaching out and saying hello.” 

Through her work with the Youth Advisory Board, Lena hopes to bring programs including Start With Hello and Say Something  into more districts in her region at all age levels, particularly more impoverished schools and larger school districts where social isolation is likely a more common issue. 

“It is so important to teach the younger population about school violence prevention because it is an investment in the future,” she said.

Read more about Lena:

SAVE Promise Club creates lasting change that leads to safer schools and communities. Learn more and start your own chapter!