8th graders in Massachusetts gear up for the New Generation, #FREEZE
VICTORIA, TX. #Freeze, the hashtag campaign created across social media for teens, sparked a powerful conversation among a group of eighth graders at Watertown Middle School in Massachusetts. Once given the project details in their Humanities class to choose a subject where they would research a problem and give a statement to spread awareness about it, Gabe Avakian, Delanie Lombard, and Emma Fallon set out to find an organization that talks about sexual abuse and is invested in the subject.
The project details for Mr. Dan Skop’s class included choosing to participate in a project where students research a topic and give problem statements before spreading awareness, but also structure a call-to-action plan to help students in their school better understand their chosen topic. While researching, Avakian and his group discovered JustUSLove.org through a Google search and then emailed the company:
“This is not a competition. It is a school project that everyone in the eighth grade participates in. The advancement part, should the class learn from the research we gather, will be a great presentation we get to share with the whole school. Sexual abuse is such a tragic topic; we felt that it is time for it to come to an end, so after researching over the internet we knew you could further our information and help our project.”
Stacy Snapp-Killian, also known as StacyK, founder of JustUS®, an American multimedia company producing “infotainment,” shares the stories of sexual abuse thrivers to educate and encourage people to talk about sexual abuse truth.
“Once I received the email, I knew we were going to do everything in our power to help Gabe and his group with their school project,” said Snapp-Killian. “But that also meant we had to go to work as a team because we were in the early stages of developing ‘infotainment’ for teens and needed to advance our platform in 2019.”
Snapp-Killian, a thriver of sexual abuse herself, uniting informative, inspirational individuals who have a sexual abuse past, is well aware of what takes place during adolescent years following sexual abuse. She was first sexually abused at nine years old by a 17-year-old. While she has spent the last seven years focusing on adult survivors, relying on their expertise as well as her own concerning the subject, she had already had business plans in motion to advance the topic into a teen forum, and went to work setting up a conference call with the eighth-grade group that had emailed her hoping to see how she could add to their presentation.
"All the information that Stacy gave was so helpful towards our presentation and knowing that the organization started because of her past and how much she had gone through. I listened to how she started to go on a road to recovery to get better and feel better, and that was inspiring. I felt that we needed that to be in the presentation so the audience could know that there is hope after a trauma like that and how there are useful sources to go along with it. We learned so much about her company, and she shared with us the freeze program that she is currently building,” said Delanie Lombard, an eighth-grade student.
More than a year ago, Snapp-Killian began talking with teachers, counselors, stay-at-home moms, and businessmen and women who are thrivers of sexual abuse about boundaries, and what teens need to know in order to add quality to their relationships as they gain knowledge about sex and move into their high school years. This was in an effort to avoid the sexual abuse cycle from reoccurring in families.
Initially, instructing Snapp-Killian’s daughter to text the word “Freeze,” should she ever feel scared at a friend’s house during a sleepover, on a date, or at a social gathering, this was the inspiration behind www.freeze4teens.com , and her company went to work creating its first T-shirt for the campaign and shipped out one to every eighth-grader in Mr. Skop’s class.
“Mr. Skop loved the idea of the T-Shirts and the call for action. We got a 10 out of a 10 on that part of the presentation, and he thought that the freeze campaign would go far, especially if more people knew about it. The T-shirts have been seen being worn all over the school since, so this was a huge way to spread awareness, and now a lot of people see #Freeze on multiple kids’ shirts and then begin asking about it,” says Avakian.
Snapp-Killian hopes to ignite a conversation and be the catalyst for which the topic of sexual abuse can be discussed in every home and is honored to know that teens in Massachusetts are asking about the upcoming campaign “FREEZE!”
JustUS®, known as a “safe zone” itself for survivors of sexual abuse, should anyone need education or inspiration on the topic, would be proud to build “infotainment” for teens and help parents start the conversation of sexual abuse with their families. Hoping the hashtag will continue to gain popularity, it is, literally, a “call to action,” says Snapp-Killian. “We want teens to let someone they trust know their instincts are real and to trust when they don’t feel comfortable and need an adult’s help.”
Snapp-Killian, who is currently working on subdividing her company, The Justus Love Corporation, into a nonprofit campaign for teens, will design a program full of information concerning healthy relationships and how to avoid the number one crime on college campuses—date rape—while providing knowledge concerning all forms of sexual abuse, including sexual assault and sex trafficking.
“Freeze is a great strategy to have in place for every family. I am convinced I never had to use it because my mom prepared me early in life about what people are capable of, so I wouldn’t be naïve. Hard conversations are the best conversations, so my brother and I grew up knowing what boundaries were, and our “safe word” Freeze was set in place to protect us. It’s what my mom had to do to break the silence, so the cycle would be broken” – Jadyn Killian, 16 years old
About Stacy Snapp-Killian
Known in the beauty business as “celebrity hairstylist StacyK,” the 26-year veteran has authored two books: “Be Beautiful Being You” and “The Ten Character Commitments.” She is a part of the Women’s Leadership Movement and was a recipient of Toyota’s “Women That Soar” Community Outreach Award. She was one of the 100 World Changers recently selected for her aim to move the world forward with her new branding concept created for sexual abuse survivors. Snapp-Killian founded JustUS® in 2014, an American multimedia company helping to stop sexual abuse and expose sexual abuse suppression. The company unites “informative, inspirational individuals” with lifestyle and leadership goals. Its philosophy remains: “Our Words Give Life!” For more info about JustUS®, visit www.justuslove.org
Tiffany Hale/Communications & Public Affairs
The Justus Love Corporation
P.O. Box 5433 Victoria, TX 77904