WAYVE is excited to announce that our acronym meaning had been changed to reflect what the program stands for today. Formerly known as Working Against Youth Violence Everywhere, the program is now a movement towards Wellness, Acceptance, Youth Voices, and Empowerment.
Over the past 14 years the program has grown and expanded and come to stand for more than a bullying prevention program. Youth who are involved in WAYVE are passionate about making their school and community more accepting. They want to talk about mental health and mental illness and want to work to reduce stereotypes. It’s because of this growth, along with feedback from youth and adult allies, that we are changing our name.
WAYVE is still the youth violence prevention and mental health promotion program that you know and love! The program will continue to offer education and awareness raising around things that matter to youth. This could include information about empathy, digital citizenship, toxic friendships, mental wellness and positive coping, LGBTQ issues, etc. The program still does this in two important ways: through the regional team and through the empowerment teams (formerly known as in-school teams). Please browse the rest of this site to find out specific information about these important youth teams.
What continues to make this program special is that WAYVE takes a peer-led focus. This means that, ultimately, the youth are empowered to manage the program and that youth decide what conversations they want to be having based on the difficulties that they see young people facing. WAYVE is also unique because it has a strong focus on youth-adult partnerships. Research has found that adults play a critical role in helping to engage and mentor youth and that programs in which youth and adults work together provide the greatest benefits to participants, the program itself, and the larger community. Since its inception, the WAYVE program has operated from a youth-adult partnership framework and has consistently resulted in positive changes in the youth who have been part of the program.