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posted by: Becky Emmons 5/17/2013 | Category: Scholarship Winners

This year we received nearly 300 applications. It's tough to choose, but here they are, our 2013 Link Crew Scholarship Winners

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posted by: Micah Jacobson 5/10/2013 | Category: Inspiration

Is it time to shift gears? The first year or two of Link Crew and WEB tend to be lived in high gear. Purpose equals energy, right? There is so much to do, so much to start and so much to learn that the time flies and everything feels just on the edge of overwhelming. It’s like driving in first gear, revving high and accelerating quickly.

Then you settle in.  For many programs, the third year is also third gear: comfortable; understood; cruising. Bill Cosby famously joked, “Third (gear) is great! Once I get into 3rd, I’m not shifting back for nobody!” Even if you have never driven a stick shift, I think you would agree with the sentiment. Doesn’t getting past ‘start up’ mode feel awesome? Just cruising. No work. Wind blowing through your hair, music playing and miles ahead of you.

The problem comes a few miles down the road. That feeling of cruising begins to get boring. The landscape maybe doesn’t change. We just keep driving and driving. Suddenly a change comes: new principal, budget cuts. We hit a hill too steep to climb in 3rd (or 4th or 5th) gear.

What then? Well, it’s obvious isn’t it? Shift.

Sometimes, even when things are going well, it is time to shift if only to grab a hold of the new.

How do we shift? Here are some thoughts:

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posted by: Mary Beth Campbell 4/11/2013 | Category: Inspiration

Bloom where you’re planted.

To me, nothing captures the essence of perseverance more than this simple phrase.

Trite? Maybe.

True? Absolutely.

As spring nears and I see plants of all sorts emerging from their wintry depths, it never ceases to amaze me how perseverant and creative they can when choosing where to bloom. None of us are strangers to the dandelion that pops up in a sidewalk crack or the clover that somehow flourishes, despite gravity, on the side of a retaining wall. And what about that beautiful plant so carefully planted in your window box that suddenly unfurls a version of itself, to your surprise, on the neglected side of your house? You know you didn’t plant it there and yet, there it is, also doing its best to be beautiful.  And sometimes it’s the discovery of something unexpected like that that allows you to see potential that you’ve never seen before. What if I cleared the dirt here? Planted a vine there? Painted the fence? Trimmed those trees? And before you know it, that one little errant plant, blooming where it was planted, is responsible for a side yard makeover.

So, while I love the plant in the flower box for its showy beauty, I see the one on the side of the house and appreciate its fearlessness in growing wherever it wanted, and am grateful for the inspiration it provided.

Not all of us are born in colorful pots procured from Crate & Barrel or planted with loving care in Martha Stewart’s flowerbed. But all of us can bloom. Anywhere. It just might take us a little longer. We might need to scramble to find resources not readily available to us. We might need to stand a little taller to be noticed. We might not flourish initially. But, in the end, we bloom.

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posted by: Micah Jacobson 3/15/2013 | Category: Inspiration

Get the Right Leaders On the Bus!

Leader recruitment is underway. Are you revamping your application process at all this year?  Here are a couple of quick ideas to inspire your process!

Demographic Maps: At Merrill High School in Wisconsin, they have added a map section of the application. Leaving a 3 inch space on one page of the application they ask leaders to draw where they sit in the commons area for break and for lunch.  Link Coordinator Amy Heimerl says, "Since I kind of know where each of the groups sit in the commons, I can build a map of my leaders and make sure that I am getting a diverse mix!"

Eyejot videos: Nagle Middle School in Cincinnati had a problem. With the popularity of WEB exploding, they had more than 300 applications to sort through. "Trying to sort through that many applications and remember each kid was really difficult," says Amy Wettengel, WEB Coordinator. They started requiring students to submit a 1 minute video through the website. They set up the account so that each of the WEB coordinators can watch the videos at any time. They ask the potential WEB Leaders to answer the question "Why do you want to be a WEB leader?" and to make themselves stand out.

Use other teachers: At Eagan High School in Minnesota, they bring in a panel of other teachers beyond their 4 person Link team to review the applications. "Having other teachers in the room not only gives us a lot more buy-in as to who our leaders are, but also gives us a much more diverse perspective on who the kids are."

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posted by: Carolyn Hill 2/13/2013 | Category: Inspiration

Paczki are deep-fried, jelly filled pastries that are traditionally eaten on Fat Tuesday. While originally a Polish tradition, the practice continues in the Midwest where Polish immigrants brought their culture generations ago. And, lucky for us, we were hosting a WEB and Link Crew Basic Training in Michigan on Fat Tuesday…so bring on the Paczki! Yummy! And what a great opportunity to have cultural experience (fortunately, when it’s a cultural experience by the way, the calories don’t count!). 

With the Paczki came a conversation about other cultural experiences and how culture gets formed. Culture is formed by traditions, philosophies and practices committed by a group again and again. Families have a culture. Circles of friends have a culture. Towns and cities have a culture. States have a culture. Regions have a culture. And, yes, schools have a culture.

If someone were to spend an hour in your school, what would they say your culture is? What would it feel like? What would they see? Would they want to spend more time there? Or would they be looking for the exit door quickly? What we do each day, creates our school culture and WEB and Link Crew are integral parts to creating a school culture.

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posted by: Boom Boom Room 1/25/2013 | Category: News


It’s that time of year again! Training sessions for our high school and middle level bullying prevention programs, Link Crew and WEB, are in session throughout the US and Canada, now through June.

Whether you’re a trailblazer bringing the program to your school for the first time or a new member of an existing program, you’ll be challenged, have fun, and return to your school with the tools, strategies and energy to implement successful Link Crew and WEB bullying prevention programs.

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posted by: Micah Jacobson 1/10/2013 | Category: Inspiration

It’s difficult not to think about Goal Setting this time of year. Resolutions are in the air and many of you have probably made a few of your own. The making of resolutions, of course, is followed by the breaking of resolutions. Goals set are sometimes achieved and sometimes not.

Part of the problem could be that many kinds of goal setting don’t work. You’ve probably heard the basic outlines of goal setting: we are supposed to make them “SMART” - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. However, we are also supposed to “reach for the stars” and set huge ambitious goals.

Does goal setting like this actually work? Well, yes and no.

Small, focused goals that are believed to be well within reach turn out to be far more motivating that “Big Huge Audacious” goals. These goals should be SMART and communicated clearly to everyone who can help achieve it.

Some Link Crew and WEB programs focus on specific goals like:


•  Getting 90% of 6th graders to orientation this year

•  Personally checking in with each of our students in the first two weeks

•  Reducing tardies among freshmen by 10% in the first semester


These kind of targeted, focused, time-bound goals can be helpful, but even these aren’t completely necessary to have a fantastic program.

For Brian Scully at Starpoint Middle School in New York, they focus on large themes that align with the strengths of their current WEB leaders.

“For this year's group, who are very generous and empathetic, we have focused on really reaching out one on one. Last year’s leaders were a more energetic, loud, dance party kind of group so we did bigger events. Our goals match the strengths of our leaders.”

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posted by: Boom Boom Room 11/30/2012 | Category: Inspiration

It’s so nice to see a comment like this come through on our Boomerang Project Facebook page, even long after our student transition program orientations are wrapped up! Check it out:

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posted by: Micah Jacobson 11/8/2012 | Category: Inspiration

I wish I remembered who said it. At a Follow Up this year one school told me about doing the “WEB Turkey Chase”. They were planning to have a lunchtime event before Thanksgiving. The leaders were going to dress up like turkeys. Well, I remember they were maybe going to do turkey headbands at least. Each WEB group would then gather with their small group in the school field. After some introductions and reminders, the leaders would have to run away from their group. The group would then try to ‘capture’ their turkey back by surrounding it and holding hands. Only by working together would they be successful. Sounds like a blast right?

It sounded fun to the groups I shared it with at the Follow Ups too. Then someone would ask me for more details and who shared that idea and all I could say was, “Umm.....I don’t remember.” Sound familiar?

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posted by: Boom Boom Room 10/24/2012 | Category: News

With October’s National Anti-Bullying month in full swing, The Boomerang Project’s Link Crew and WEB bullying prevention programs are busier than ever. During the month of October (and every month for that matter), our student leaders go the extra mile in bringing bullying to a halt by lending a helping hand to new classmates, friends, and family members, alike.

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