PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 21, 2014 — The new anti-bullying mobile application designed by a team from Penn Wood High School and developed in collaboration with STEMNASIUM LEARNING Academy in state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams’ first-ever competition is now available to students who have android devices.
Sen. Williams debuted “Fear No Bully” on Friday at a special ceremony at Penn Wood High School.
“I wasn’t sure how students would perceive this competition or if they would take it seriously, but they stepped up in extraordinary ways by using social media, technology, and their hearts to create an application that will help other students throughout the City of Philadelphia and the commonwealth push back against this problem,” Williams said at the mobile app’s unveiling.
“Too many students I’ve met over the years have felt as though they were not connected to their school, community and place of faith. Because many of these same people were victims of physical or verbal abuse, they sometimes chose destructive or sad paths as the solution to their experience,” he said.
The senator opened his inaugural anti-bullying mobile application contest in January and teams from district-wide schools had until Feb. 28 to submit their proposals.
After the entries were considered, a team from Penn Wood that included then-11th and 12th grade students Dagmawe Berhanu, Iris Freely, Earl Johnson, Allyn Johnson, Giselle Marston and Danny Santos won the competition.
Add B. Anderson’s second-place team – under the direction of their art teacher, Brittany Kenney, and principal, Kelly Parker – included then-7th graders Tahir Carter, Alieya Crawford, Donate Lightford, Corey Middleton, and Charnae Champion.
“When Sen. Williams reached out and asked us to participate in his anti-bullying mobile app contest, I knew my Penn Wood students would not let us down when this opportunity and challenge presented itself,” said Penn Wood Principal D. Brandon Cooley, Ed. D. “They took advantage of it and excelled; now we are seeing it to fruition.
“Sen. Williams’ competition is a great program, great opportunity. I think it’s going to have great, positive results. We are in the 21st-century and technology speaks, so we are very excited,” Cooley said.
Each member of Penn Wood’s team won iPad2s from the senator, courtesy of Walmart in Glenolden.
A development team comprised of Penn Wood High School seniors Sarah and Jacob McCann, Danny Santos and Earl Johnson, in collaboration with STEMNASIUM LEARNING Academy/Mastery Charter-Lenfest Campus 8th grader Dominic Robinson brought “Fear No Bully” to life. STEMNASIUM CEO Tariq Al Nasir and Maurice Pollard, project manager, helped to guide the groundbreaking project.
STEMNASIUM LEARNING Academy is a 10-year-old extra-curricular program that meets Saturdays at the Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School near Overbrook, West Philly. STEMNASIUM is open to any and all pre-high school students from the Philadelphia region, and it focuses on math and the sciences.
“Because this was presented as a mobile app competition, it sparked my interest,” said mobile app contest winner Danny Santos. “A lot of kids are more interested in doing things from a cell phone versus actual communication with people. With ‘Fear No Bully,’ it will be much easier and faster for them to transmit an issue or a message through their phone.”
The application provides links to resources and a way for students to report (either anonymously or by name) a bullying incident to their school and it is available for use by all school districts in the commonwealth. It is free for students to download..
Interested school districts should contact STEMNASIUM to get the app into their districts.
“We strongly support Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams’ effort around anti-bullying by using technology to engage the students in positive message,” said Diane Bernoff Sher, School District of Philadelphia compliance officer for bullying and anti-harassment policy. “We are thrilled that School District of Philadelphia students had the opportunity to compete.”
“Fear No Bully” is available now via Google Play for android phones and devices. The release date for the Apple Store is later in November.
Sen. Williams has been working with schools within the 8th Senatorial District for the past three years to provide resources, support and tools for students to reduce or end bullying.
Penn Wood High School students have played an integral role during this time having helped to develop anti-bullying bookmarks for elementary and high school students plus the creation of a public service announcement that aired two years ago on MindTV.
Mont Brown of Astronauts Really Fly – and the senator’s ambassador for peace in Southwest Philly – welcomed students and introduced local singer and Penn Wood alumnus Kayla Enfiniti. Enfiniti brought the students to their feet during Sen. Williams’ ceremony this past Friday.
State Reps. Ron Waters and Margo Davidson participated in the mobile app ceremony.