Alumna Nina Wilson recently launched a district-wide effort to address the growing problem of bullying within the local schools and community. Fueled by her desire to bring attention to this epidemic problem, she was able to transform what began as a graduate thesis into an active anti-bullying campaign adopted by Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS).
“I was bullied at different points during my childhood, and the more I reflected on the episodes and the impact they had on my behavior and character, as well as the horrifying stories of all the children and teens who have lost their lives in the last five years because they were bullied, the stronger and more compelled I felt to be an advocate to reduce the number of victims and to raise awareness.”
With support from Donna Hargen, Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), Wilson jointly spearheaded the anti-bullying campaign with Jackie Wiseman, the director of Safe and Drug-Free Schools/Student Relations. The Office of Mayor Greg Fisher provided further support, officially proclaiming September as “Americans Against Bullying Children Month.”
All 156 JCPS sites are utilizing the proclamation as part of a year-round effort to address bullying (and cyberbullying). According to Wiseman, the proclamation addresses the need to involve not only school officials in fighting this ongoing problem, but also inspires involvement from students across the district. The Safe and Drug Free Program encourages students to help develop each school’s anti-bullying policy and to use checklists and surveys to identify areas of needed improvement.
Wilson, who now works as a program trainer for Louisville Metro Government, graduated from Spalding’s Master of Science in Business Communication (MSBC) program in June 2012. She plans to promote goodwill and mission-oriented projects that strengthen the values of family and community as she aspires to be an ordained minister and to establish a school for girls.
Wilson attributes her ambition and determination in part to the education she received at Spalding, describing it as an “enriching experience” that gave her the opportunity to see the world through a different lens. “My degree from Spalding is hanging on the wall in my office. It is a valued memento in my life, one in which I could never be more proud,” she reflects. “It will be a lifelong partner in each and every endeavor.”