2011 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
|Norfolk||Robert E. Stephens|
The Norfolk Division is pleased to honor Mr. Robert E. Stephens for his work as co-founder and facilitator of the Community Action Coalition (CAC) of Suffolk, Virginia. Mr. Stephens worked to establish the non-profit organization because he is dedicated to the prevention of violence and juvenile delinquency.
The CAC hosts a series of local programs designed to address socioeconomic issues. Last year, the CAC launched a student-led, anti-violence campaign called Be Fight Free (BFF). The goal of the program is to develop student leaders who will spread awareness about ending violence in schools. BFF participants plan rallies, distribute wristbands and buttons, and hang campaign banners in schools.A year ago, Suffolk Public Schools, in coordination with the BFF campaign, designated the month of January as Violence Prevention Month. In King’s Fork High School, more than 700 students signed pledges to remain violence free. At Lakeland High School, there has been a 70 percent decrease in the number of violent acts at school. The transformation taking place in area schools is in part due to the efforts of Mr. Stephens and CAC.