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A lot of people are surprised to learn that, at our core, Heroes In Waiting isn’t just about bullying. We’re about empowering empathy, confidence, and a sense of belonging in kids…not just so they learn to be kind to each other, but so they learn to be kind to themselves.

We know that the world is hard on kids, just like it’s hard on grownups. We know that depression in children is real. And we know that child suicide is a fact – one that no one really wants to talk about.

We also know that kids who are having a hard time literally don’t know how to tell us. The parts of their brains that could help them sort out and communicate the complex emotions they’re feeling just aren’t developed yet. So one of the ways they express themselves is by acting out…and sometimes that looks like engaging in bullying behavior. Which means that kids who are labeled as “bullies” are really just kids who are struggling and don’t know how to ask for help.

What Is Bullying Behavior?

Bullying behavior isn’t about deciding not to play with someone at recess. It’s not about having a disagreement with a friend or not showing up for someone’s birthday party.

Bullying is aggressive behavior that happens when someone tries to exert power over someone else in a way that makes them feel hurt, threatened, or unsafe. Bullying behavior is usually repeated behavior.

How Prevalent is Bullying Behavior?

According to research, one in five students in the United States is a victim of bullying behavior, and more than half of them will keep it to themselves rather than telling an adult. In fact, 160,000 kids will skip school today just to avoid being bullied.

Both kids who experience bullying behavior and kids who engage in bullying behavior are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health and behavior problems.

kids will skip school today because of relentless bullying
students will be bullied


of kids bullied experience prolonged depression
15% of Students seriously

consider suicide

Bullied kids are
0 times
more likely to have


of bullying stops when a peer intervenes

OUR Mission

At Heroes In Waiting, our mission and our programming are built with intention to empower empathy, confidence, and a sense of belonging. More than just admonishing kids to “being nice,” we offer real tools, like how to make friends and how to ask for help when they need it, and we teach them ways to practice. Our hope is that practical intervention can help mitigate the mental health issues that lead to bullying behavior in the first place, and give all kids a fighting chance.