2020 Regional Impact Project – Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life Conference

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While Leadership West graduates can be found engaged in various service project in the West Valley throughout the year, the Leadership West Alumni Association (LWAA) hosts an annual Regional Impact Project for alumni to engage in the community together at a specific location in need.

Leadership West alumni take ownership in the West Valley together.

In 2020, LWAA’s Regional Impact Project was the Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life Conference. Three colleagues from the Leadership West Flagship Program Class XXII reviewed reports stating that 768 Arizona children died in 2018, and that 39 percent of the deaths were preventable. Often cited was the stigma of not being comfortable asking for help as well as missed warning signs that seemed to accompany every school tragedy. These Arizona statistics furthered the call to action:

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth 10-34 years old.
  • Arizona loses a teenager to suicide every 5.5 days
  • For every completed suicide, there are over 200 attempts.
  • 1 in 5 children will be bullied in the upcoming school year

The Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life Conference was held on January 21, 2020 at Grand Canyon University, and brought together more than 5,000 students, staff, families and communities from public, private, and charter schools, as well as youth groups. At least 500 volunteers helped facilitate the event.

“The conference has grown to impact over 380,000 students in anti-bullying and suicide prevention efforts in schools throughout Arizona,” said Shelby Duplessis, President of Leadership West. “As a parent, I always want to know my children are safe and secure and being involved gives me the chance to help my children feel empowered to speak up.”

The conference had many lasting components, including parent and community meetings across the Valley, and partnerships with local organizations to help everyone Stand Up, Speak Up and Save Lives. It’s not too late to join the movement – visit www.speakstandsave.com.

Visit the Leadership West events page for more information about upcoming Regional Impact Projects.

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