WW ’17: Juniors attend MVP presentation


Credit: Thomas Chan

Pictured above are materials that were available during the MVP presentation. The presentation discussed signs of abuse and how to prevent it. “I hope that we have made people more aware of what an unhealthy relationship looks like and how to strive for a healthy relationship,” club advisor Rachel Hanks said.

Duncan Stephenson and Kyle Chen

Every year, juniors at Wayland High School learn about the Mentors for Violence Prevention program (MVP) in Wellness classes. There is also an MVP club, which is made up of seniors who have already learned about MVP in the classroom. During this year’s Winter Week, the members and advisors of the MVP club presented to the current junior class.

MVP was founded at Northeastern University in 1993. Their original intention was to educate male college and high school athletes about standing up to rape, sexual assault, gay-bashing and other forms of violence, domestic or otherwise.

MVP was brought to Wayland in 1993 with the help of then athletic trainer Chris Brown, but the program was dropped at Wayland in 1995 due to a series of budget cuts. However, MVP returned to the high school three years ago. One of the reasons that MVP was brought back to Wayland was the death of Lauren Astley, a WHS graduate who was killed by her boyfriend in July 2011.

“Unfortunately, with the death of [Astley] a few years ago, the issue of dating violence hit this community really hard,” Club Advisor Rachel Hanks said. “We do this work and implemented this program to honor [Astley] and to prevent this kind of incident from repeating itself. Knowledge is power.”

Even though MVP is still relatively new to Wayland, Hanks believes that it has already made a difference in the community.

“I hope that we have made people more aware of what an unhealthy relationship looks like and how to strive for a healthy relationship. I hope that students at Wayland know that we have so many people here to support them and help them,” Hanks said. “I think the more we talk about this, about all the things that may be difficult or uncomfortable, the better off we are.”

According to Hanks, the club’s goals are to educate students about unhealthy relationships and hopefully to prevent as many as possible by doing so.

Senior Nick Coufos said that club members hope that other students see them as trustworthy and responsible and will feel comfortable approaching them with any problems they may have regarding relationships or dating violence.

After juniors complete the MVP curriculum in wellness, current club members and club advisors will choose the next members of the club from the current junior class.