Inspired by the Challenge Day movement, a group of Westerville community members came together in 2009 to raise awareness of and funding for initiatives in Westerville City Schools that promoted anti-bullying, character education and positive school culture. This new non-profit was aptly named Westerville Education Challenge (WEC).

In the early years, vigorous fundraising efforts enabled us to present the uplifting Challenge Day program to freshmen in all Westerville High Schools. Now, ten years later, over 5000 students have participated in the transformational Challenge Day experience, designed to build community and help shift school culture to a more inclusive one; creating safe spaces for people to be themselves and express themselves without feeling judged. This powerful program addresses issues of teenage peer pressure, teasing, bullying and builds a community of understanding, acceptance, and friendship.

With positive results from annual fundraisers, we have been able to increase our grant funding to include sponsorship of the PRIDE program at Heritage Middle School for the last three years. This year-long program promotes personal, school and community pride by focusing on: Purpose, Respect, Independence and Evaluation. PRIDE is the school’s driving force and one word on how to conduct oneself in the school and community.

Thanks to generous community support and numerous corporate sponsors, WEC has generated over $100,000 in donations to support the social and emotional growth of Westerville students. We look forward to exploring new initiatives to which we can lend our support. For more information, explore our website, visit our social media pages or contact us: info(at)westervilleeducationchallenge.org.