Who We Are
The Youth Unite began as a small program founded by Brittnay Wittnebel, Miss Madison 2011. Inspired by Miss America's dedication to service, Brittnay started The Youth Unite as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The mission is simple -- to enhance youth through a community arts, edcuation, and bully prevention program.
Initially, The Youth Unite focused on promoting the message of anti-bullying through substance free concert series, DVD cirriculum, and school assemblies. Our programs have evolved to include a music therapy program, music lessons, and other community oriented events. The Youth Unite is a resource for kids who feel victimized by bullying and other emotional trauma.
Rooted in the firm belief that peer pressure and bullying squanders our youths’ imagination, self esteem and desire to achieve their goals, we at The Youth Unite will provide practical solutions that focus on the positive aspects of individual communities and schools. Through the arts, music, education, and various programs. We aim to prevent bullying by providing tools to create a positive self image and a safe place to go. Now is the time to implement our unique, realistic, student-based solutions by creating a proactive bully prevention program through Youth Unite people and resources. Students will find validation from their positive accomplishments and realize that when bullying occurs—it does get better. The Youth Unite will be a uniting force to learn how to see past their differences and work as a team. The success of The Youth Unite will not be judged upon attaining unachievable principles, but rather on the day-to-day intervention with students and the creation of a safe environment where their lives can flourish and positive values are encouraged.
The Youth Unite has visited several Stateline Area Middle Schools and High School to share our Character Education Assembly. Our interactive, multimedia presentation focuses on making students aware of how their actions can affect those around them.
Teach In Harmony
The Youth Unite has partnered with the Beloit Sexual Assault Recovery Program and Ecolab to provide music and art therapy to victims of severe emotional trauma. The Castle Conservatory, a Youth Unite Program, gives lessons to counselor reccomended students.
The Future Sounds Good
We are constantly creating and implementing new programs. Subscribe to our newsletter below to stay updated. Soon, we plan to launch a healthy cooking class program that teaches kids the importance of daily nutrition and building positive self-esteem in their bodies.
I designed The Youth Unite to provide a creative and safe space for victims of bullying. Initially, we were only online. However, as we began to delve into the local epedimic of school bullying, we noticed that the problems The Youth Unite was seeking to mend were more pervasive. We discovered that although emotional trauma arises as a result of incessant bullying, other who were victims of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse expierence similar feelings of hopelesslessness, isolation and depression. Because traumatic events seriously interrupt the school routine and the processes of teaching and learning, The Youth Unite is here to provide a creative outlet for victims of emotional trauma. Our music and art programs are tailored to the individual, and oftentimes, teachers become mentors for the students. Music and art are perfect avenues to establiship relationships of trust and allow young victims of emotional trauma to cope with their overwhelming emotions in order to face the world once again.
Bullying and the Law
After graduating Beloit College in 2010 with a Bachelors of the Arts in Political Science, Communications, European Studies, and Music, Brittnay continued to Law School at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. Recently, Brittnay was inducted as a member of the Florida Bar Association. As a law student Brittnay contributed many hours of pro bono service to her local community through projects such as: The Palermo Project, Project Knuckleheads, and St. Thomas University's Public Interest Law Society. In May of 2016, Brittnay graduated St. Thomas University Magna Cum Laude with several academic honors. While a law student, Brittnay interned for the Cheif Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Jorge Labarga, and the Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez. Brittnay's passion for education reform and anti-bullying policies is reflected in her contributions to her community and dedication to the practice of law.
As a member of the top 10% of her law school class, Brittnay was invited by the St.Thomas Law Review to submit a comment to be considered for publication in the upcoming volume. The comment explains that Florida statute 1006.147, enacted in 2014, provides a civil remedy for victims of bullying to bring a cause of action against schools for violation of their duty to protect children who are in the school's custody and control. When this law was passed, it was considered a victory for bullying victims. However, as the law was applied, the Florida damage cap statute, which limits a school's possible damages to a mere $250,000 essentially abrogated the jury awards returned under 1006.147, which were in the millions of dollars. The comment argues that te damage cap statute effectively frustrates the purpose and policy behind 1006.147. These two statutes cannot exist contemporaneously and achieve the purposes their were designed for. The Florida legislature should consider the conflict in the policy of the law and the implications of damage cap statute in cases of extreme emotional or physical trauma.