Student Action Board
The MAAV Student Advisory Board (SAB) was established at Melrose High School in 1998. The original purpose of the SAB was for students to give input into MAAV’s prevention programs. In 2003, the name was changed to the Student Action Board to better reflect the dynamic nature of the group. The SAB still advises the MAAV Board, but also plans and implements its own projects in the schools and community. Luckily, it can still be referred to as the SAB!
Over the years the SAB has developed programs to address teen dating violence, sexual assault, teen depression and suicide (including a comprehensive web site) coping with stress, and breaking down barriers. In 2003, SAB member Amanda Lanza produced a video on sexual assault that won numerous awards among student filmmakers. The video, “Every Two Minutes” was updated in 2008 by SAB member Mark McCarthy, is used in an assembly for seniors each spring, and can be seen here on Youtube. The video was updated yet again in 2013, and can be viewed here.
Past events organized by SAB include the
first “Mix it Up at Lunch” Day at Melrose High School. The SAB also implemented a peer mentoring program with 9th grade students focused on healthy dating relationships, and sponsors an assembly for seniors every spring on preventing sexual assault.
Every other year, SAB sponsored the “Dear Lisa” program for all 9th and 10th graders, followed by peer-led discussion groups. This program features a father, Tom Santoro, speaking about the tragic loss of his 18 year old daughter who was killed by her ex-boyfriend. Tom Santoro has since retired from this work, but the Dear Lisa program reached hundreds of students at MHS.
In 2009, the SAB was awarded the Jackson Katz Award for Social Justice by Sports in Society at Northeastern University, honoring their work in the areas of teen dating violence and sexual assault prevention. A banner hangs proudly at Melrose High School!
The SAB has also participated in Northeastern University’s Mentors in Violence Prevention Program, or MVP. In 2014, 50 student leaders were selected by MHS faculty and coaches to go through the MVP Training. After becoming MVP-trained, these students then went into Freshmen Seminar classes to facilitate discussions related to teen dating violence and gender roles in society. To learn more about MVP, click here.
In 2015, the SAB launched a new club open to all Melrose High School called “Students Against Violence.” The club discusses issues related to healthy and abusive teen relationships, and works on projects to educate their peers, such as poster campaigns and Public Service Announcements.
MAAV Student Action Board (2016-2017)
Back row: Advisor Rebecca Mooney, Mahta Fesshaie, Tess Castergine, Lily Russell, Jack Sullivan, Jake Yezerski, Keith Morris, Steven Abbott, Kyla Waring. Front row: Maria Drago, Madelyn Strike, Sarina Peters, Maeve Haldeman, Molly Clark, Cian Murphy, Jill Mercer, REACH trainer Dani Patrick, Advisor Joe Parrillo. In front: Rachel Freed & Adonis Logan. Not pictured: Will McCarthy & Shane Correale.