A company celebrating individuality and a student-led movement, working to create an inclusive future for all – what a pair!
Back-to-school is kicking off with the largest fundraiser in Be Strong history! Last weekend, Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW), Be Strong’s HERO partner, kicked off a $150,000 back-to-school fundraiser, benefitting Be Strong! Yes, you read that right, $150,000!
DSW associates across the country worked diligently to not only get young people suited in their favorite kicks for back-to-school, they inspired customers to join the efforts of Be Strong.
Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) and Be Strong first teamed up in the summer of 2018. The goal: reach more young people, in more communities, with a message of empowerment, hope, resilience and inclusion. This successful partnership brings more student leaders to the table and more positivity and acceptance to the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people.
“We are super excited and happy to have become a part of Be Strong through DSW. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give back.”
– Melissa, DSW associate
This summer, DSW invited Sage and Theresa, two of Be Strong’s long-time Student State Representatives, to a photoshoot in Brooklyn, NY, to be featured in a $150,000 back-to-school fundraiser campaign. “In the spirit of inclusion, we are honored by the opportunity to showcase the bright, resilient students that are a part of Be Strong! Sage and Theresa represent our future and the adversities we want to help them overcome through support of Be Strong,” said Jonica Armstrong, head of DSW’s community relations. “We’re proud of them and all that they have accomplished – they’re pretty darn cute, too!”
The day was filled with laughter, some sizzling photos, and, in true Be Strong fashion, inspiring stories of perseverance.
“My favorite part was knowing that we get to be involved with a company that supports what I believe in and care about,” explained Theresa. “It was a fun experience that gave me the opportunity to spread my/Be Strong’s message to more people. As a State Rep, I get to help people. Be strong gives me a platform to reach others experiencing things I’ve gone through. When people are bullied or going through hard times, it’s easy to feel isolated. Being able to just show kindness can change their perspective – and their lives. They can get through what they are feeling.”
Theresa and Sage are known throughout the Be Strong family for not only being thoughtful and inclusive, but bold, as well. “I always want to be a role model for kids. I am pretty different, and I embrace it,” said Sage. “I don’t care if I fit in. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you as a person. It only matters what you think.”
Be Strong helps more than just kids.
“There is no doubt that Be Strong is making our school better and our students more resilient.”
– Ashley, high school teacher
“Not only have I become better at recognizing and helping kids cope with bullying, but we’ve given our students a safe place to go in our school.”
– Steve, high school teacher
“It has been a breath of fresh air to have my daughter be part of a program that builds kids up.”
– Kristie, mom