ALFRED WITHEROW

Daily Point of Light # 2361 Feb 20, 2003

Brooke Anderson saw the importance of children having good role models and mentors more than 10 years ago and has been striving to ensure that the children of our nation are equipped with the skills they need to make good decisions. Brooke has mentored children in a variety of ways. She has volunteered at Mentoring Programs in the Atlanta and Athens area as well as throughout the state of Georgia. She has personally mentored children in after school programs, the Boys and Girls Club of America, and she has volunteered at Young Audiences of Atlanta. She has also been actively involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization and the 4-H Clubs. Brooke reads and speaks to children in elementary and middle schools across the state. She received a scholarship from NIKE P.L.A. Y. corps for her work in coaching youth tennis at a local park for two years.

Brooke has designed a program to be placed in middle-school classrooms to assist children in making good decisions. The program that she developed is called “Decision Making 101.” This program gets back to the basics of teaching children right from wrong. Brooke has designed a placard that reads “Decision Making 101.” The placard has three questions: 1. Is my decision good? 2. Is it right? 3. What are the possible consequences? This placard enables children to visually see three basic questions every day in their classrooms to help them think twice before making a decision and then make the right one.

Brooke has presented “Decision Making 101 ” to State Departments of Education in all 50 states and the program is currently going strong in seven states. She has also created a brochure in which she shares her goals for America’s youth and discusses “Decision Making 101.” Brooke has written and produced a 15-minute instructional video titled “From the Heart: Straight Talk With America’s Youth.” The video discusses issues facing young children today and sorts through the right ways to handle different situations. Educators and mentors are using this video as a catalyst to prompt discussion in their schools and organizations.

A brochure and an informational packet have been sent to every school superintendent in the nation and every Boys and Girls Club Director in the nation. Brooke has been in touch with First Lady Laura Bush through Secretary of Education Paige and is eagerly anticipating their first meeting. She has also been in contact with Governor Roy Barnes and he is very excited about “Decision Making 101” and the impact that it will have on our State and Nation. Brooke is working with the Coca-Cola Company to provide sponsorship of this program. If everything goes as planned, Coca-Cola will introduce “Decision Making 101” into every school in which they have vending machines on behalf of Brooke and the Coca-Cola Company.

Brooke is striving to promote this universal mentoring message by placing “Decision Making 101” in every middle school classroom across America. She has plans to establish an interactive web site, a crisis decision hotline, and National Public Service Announcements. She has been featured on the cover of a regional magazine for her program and has recently been selected as the Miss America State Community Service Award Winner. Through her years of mentoring, she has personally touched the lives of well over 15,000 children and informed numerous educators and community leaders.

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