Here we have the steps you need to start a Be The Light event in your own community.
1. Meet with an advisor
The first step is crucial to your journey. You need to find a school administrator or staff member to help you navigate the school's policies and guidelines. Our first advisor was the school guidance counselor. This advisor will start off as a spokesperson for you and the project, to inform them of the Be The Light mission and your vision for how it will best fit to your school.
2. Contact school administration
This is when your advisor contact comes in. Meet with your advisor and schedule a date to pitch the Be The Light event to the administrative heads and get it approved. When you meet with them, it helps to give a printed outline of the project or have in mind how you are going to give them a good idea of what this event is all about.
3. Gather Student Support
This is not necessary but highly recommended. Get a school club involved... for us, it was the Students Against Destructive Decisions club. This support from a school club will provide you with a volunteer base and connect you with people who will spread the word about the event. The club can also use this as a fundraising opportunity: create and sell Be The Light t-shirts at/leading up to the event.
4. Set a Date
Coordinate with the administration, the club, and your own schedule for when the Be The Light event is best for your school. In our case, we held the event at the first home football game of the year, but feel free to adjust the date, time, and location for what works best for your school. Most importantly, factor in how long it will take to produce and order all of your supplies...assembling ribbons the night before the event is NOT a good idea.
5. Engage Your Community
This is what makes the event so inspiring. Make sure to get in touch with all groups that are participating and get them involved. For example, since our event was at a football game, we contacted the head coach and told him about the event. Then, we gave the team suicide awareness ribbon decals to put on their helmets. The night of, we also gave the cheer, dance, band, and JROTC teams awareness ribbons to wear on their uniforms. In the morning of the event before school, we also put a ribbon in each of the faculty mailboxes.