Operation Keepsake Empowers Youth to Stand Up and Speak Out to Prevent Bullying

January 15, 2019
Logo reading Friends 4 Friends Campaign

Operation Keepsake, Inc Visit disclaimer page . (OK, Inc.), a Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Program grantee funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau, empowers youth to stand up and speak out to prevent bullying. As one of the largest and longest-running programs of relationship education in the country, OK, Inc. challenges young people to develop healthy relationships and strong character through their Friends4Friends (F4F) Campaign Visit disclaimer page . Composed of several peer leadership groups and created more than five years ago, the F4F Campaign began when a group of students were asked to share the number one risk behavior that affects their relationships. Bullying was frequently identified as the greatest challenge. Students unanimously decided that short films were the best way to tackle bullying and other risk behaviors. The result was F4F Short Films that encourages youth to take ownership of their own well-being and help a friend who may be in a difficult or risky situation.

F4F Short Films dramatize real-life scenarios by depicting teens watching their friends experience a crisis such as sexual pressure, bullying, or dating abuse. Each short film includes a take-home message that connects students with a trusted adult (e.g., parent, teacher, coach) for help. F4F Short Films is completely student driven — students write the script, record, and launch their videos on YouTube. To date, more than 30 films have been produced, with more than nine videos dedicated to bullying and cyberbullying Visit disclaimer page . F4F Short Films began as a way for students to share their message with their schools and communities through an annual festival, but its reach has grown to over 70 million views and 267,000 subscribers through OK, Inc.’s YouTube Channel. The campaign’s YouTube videos have allowed student driven messages to extend beyond northeastern Ohio into other states and countries.

OK, Inc. has also used one of their magazines, A Voice for the Broken, to further support anti-bullying efforts. Specifically, the magazine includes a special issue devoted entirely to bullying. As a part of the F4F Campaign, students are provided classroom time to learn about bullying; a copy of the special issue magazine; and access to watch the campaign’s short films on bullying. Students also receive a parent guide to help their parents talk about bullying in their home. Additionally, OK, Inc. provides direct services to middle and high school students with curricula that help youth make healthy decisions that will position them for future success. Since 1998, OK, Inc. has helped nearly one million youth and their parents through their positive approach to relationships, character, and other issues related to adolescent well-being.