Women at the Helm 2015

Meet 16 dynamos who are true models of success

Executive Director, National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment

Even though we’ve made significant strides in preventing bullying, suicide and school violence, we still have work to do. Jowharah Sanders is working hard to make school a more welcoming place for children with National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment (NVEEE). “My dream was to be a teacher,” says Sanders. “However, I discovered that although I loved teaching and have the highest respect for educators, relying on standardized tests to evaluate children, regardless of their socioeconomic status or emotional well-being, no longer fit into who I wanted to be in the world, so instead I found myself advocating for children who had yet to find their voice.” In just six years, the community organization she’s created has trained 20,000 students, teachers, and parents through its Be Upstanding program, which is a bullying prevention workshop series available to schools. NVEEE also hosts a summer leadership academy called PALS (Peace Ambassador Leadership Summit), which also allows students to have a deeper conversation about their experiences with bullying, self-harm or suicidal thoughts in a safe space. For her work with youth, Sanders has received a number of honors, including an award for Outstanding Leadership in the LGBT Community from Safe Schools South Florida in 2013. “Seeing [the children] transition from bullying survivors to peace ambassadors fills me with hope, and gives me strength to keep going.”

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