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INGMAN  YOUTH LEADERSHIP

Read the Feedback from Wingman Training and Other Workshops

At the end of our workshops, participants are given a slip of paper and asked to write their thoughts/feelings/emotions; their takeaways. They crumple the paper and put it in a box. One by one they step forward and take a random piece of crumpled paper, open it and read the contents to the group, until all the pieces are gone; safely anonymous, their distilled thoughts and feelings.

 

We present below their comments, nothing edited or omitted.

New Milford, CT. November 2021. High School

  • I feel like as a person I have changed in the last 2 days by growing as a community and as a person. I was able to build my communication skills and talk to people I usually wouldn't, so I'm stepping out of my comfort zone.

  • I feel like I've gotten a bit more comfortable with speaking in front of others since I came into the room yesterday. Many of these activities have helped foster this, and it will help me as a student leader

  • Even after only being in this gym for 2 days I feel like I have changed a lot. I believe the words “empathy” and “kindness” mean more to me right now than they ever have.

  • I don't think I have changed at all, but I did learn a lot! I want to be famous so I can show people the right thing to do and be a nice person. My butterfly effect is my happiness, because when I'm happy everyone around me is always happy to!

  • My butterfly effect was probably the death of my grandpa over COVID. He was always in a good mood and I always wanted to be around him. When he was gone, it kind of set in that it could be anyone you know last day on Earth and you should never take anything for granted.

  • I think the way I view others definitely changed because throughout the two days I really got to know some new people and had a good time. I didn't change, my perspective on things changed.

  • Since I came into the room yesterday I have learned to open up and talk to new people more. When you talk to new people you may find commonalities.

  • Since coming in yesterday I have changed a lot! I learned how to get a class's attention and how to engage and include others. I have also had a change in mindset about how a leader should act. I used to think they were only strict but now I realize they can also be fun! This movement is the best opportunity I have had in a while.

  • My hope Is that there is buy-in from all students. I would love to witness the quiet/ loner students get involved and feel a sense of belonging.

  • I have changed by being able to talk to other students. I changed by understanding the Wingman movement more. My Hope for the future is that I grow more and more and use what I have learned around school and in life. My butterfly effect is that so it will spread and share the importance of Wingman.

  • My butterfly effect is my smile on my kindness. If I can make someone's day just by being kind, then that will help thousands of people. My mission in life is to impact someone and change their life by my kindness. I truly believe that I can.

  • Since I came into the room yesterday, I realized that people are so much more than their appearance, and that people have deeper meaning within.

  • I hope to see a lot of people participating in school activities, and if you see someone is sad to talk to them and help. 

  • As a whole I have changed for the better since going through the program. I feel a bit more open to discussing and talking with people I don't usually associate with and I feel more confident.

  • The butterfly effect is when someone does a tiny thing such as just smiling at someone to make their day better, and it will continue and they might do it to someone else.

  • I've gotten more comfortable with the people in my group and have gained skills to talk in front of large groups and people I may not know. I feel more confident and comfortable talking in front of people.

  • I have taken others not only feelings but actions that can reveal their feelings into consideration. Sometimes if someone is having a bad day they'll show it through their actions, so checking in on people is very important.

  • I feel like I'm better at talking to a group of people after these two days. I also feel like it's easier to talk to people I don't know one on one.

  • I hope that people learn how to be kind, or at least respect one another a little more. The world has become extremely divided these days, which is not allowing us to grow as a society. It would be nice if people understood that the first step for internal and external happiness is being kind.

  • I believe that my butterfly effect is being kind to others and always being energetic. I think that these are the two best things you need to have. I think the by having both that could make me a good leader.

  • I have changed in being more confident with going up in front of people and talking. With the feedback I received I also learned to assert myself into talking. But mostly being confident overall.

  • My hope for the future of this school is for all people no matter what background or personality type to respect each other. I would love for us all to be friends no matter what, but that seems to be unrealistic. If this were to happen I'm sure most problems in our community will disappear.

  • These past two days have really made me reflect on the people in my life, and I think it also helped me problem-solve what I'm going through now. These past two weeks have been my hardest, and these two days acted almost as therapy, and gave me a better outlook on the world.

  • Over the past two days it was sorta weird not being around people I know and had to completely talk to new people. This definitely took me out of my comfort zone. I've learned a lot about collaboration, listening to new ideas when there's group assignments and how to achieve them.

  • I felt a part of something very special. These last two days have shown me that being a Wingman isn't just teaching, it's helping other people understand themselves and others.

  • Over these two days my perspective has changed a lot. I got more comfortable speaking to others and people I don't know. I realized that making someone's day better could only take a second of your time. I feel I've learned how to become a better person and I can't wait to show others this too.

  • I enjoyed the last two days because of everyone's participation. Everyone willingly and happily joined in on everything we did. My butterfly effect will be to make at least two people smile daily.

  • I've noticed how much people's words affect each other. Whether it's a negative or positive comment it always sticks with the person. I've learned these past two days how to show compassion.

  • I feel so happy and thankful that not only am I going to be able to help others, but also that I was able to be a part of this group and make a bunch of new friends I wouldn't have before.

  • Over the last two days of training, I've developed a stronger, more influential leadership role which I hope will influence others to do just the same. I've also developed a greater sense of empathy for everyone around me and how being empathetic is very beneficial to a community as a whole.

  • Over the past two days, I've definitely become more confident with the group. I have also realized that a big part of leadership is hearing other people's ideas and opinions. Also, teamwork is key to making something a success and making sure the whole team is a part of the success.

  • These two days have made me feel like I am heard even when I'm with many people. It made me feel excited to go to school.

  • These two days have changed my outlook on life a lot. One way my life has changed was by wanting to be a role model and have a positive effect on others. These activities and games showed me how to be a leader in a more positive person. These two days made me want to live a more optimistic life.

  • My time here is giving me the building blocks for teamwork, understanding, and listening skills that I can now use in school and in the real world.

  • In these two days I have become more open-minded and have adapted to look into a deeper meaning that a small activity may hold. I have spoken to people I have never even seen in school before and now it makes me much more comfortable knowing I can work/ bond with a group of individuals that I have never met.

  • The last two days have allowed me to realize that I'm capable of coming together with people I don't know and work successfully as a team. I am now confident that I can help others even without knowing them well at first.

  • Fun! I got to meet new people and have gotten better at leading others, and being friendly.

  • These past two days have helped me become more understanding as well as improving my ability to compromise. I am very excited to take part in the movement as a leader after some first-hand experience. 

  • These two days have changed my look on life by helping me become more understanding and aware that there are so many things a person could be going through, and to do little things for people because it would change their whole day.

  • These past two days have made me realize that many people share the same perspective as me, but have different ways of showing it. This group and training has told me so many things about myself. I'm so grateful I met the people I did and I can't wait to help make people feel the way I feel. Thank you for accepting me.

  • Being able to talk with anyone even if I have no idea who they are or what type of person they are.

  • I hope to make it something the students are looking forward to in a way to have fun.

  •  My butterfly effect is to make everyone feel safe and comfortable around Wingman leaders, to feel like they have someone to talk to and open up to. But mainly to have someone to lean on.

  • As of today I feel more welcomed into the NMHS community. I feel as if I have made more friends and it has really taken a toll on my mental state because besides my fear of bears and heights I was afraid of speaking with strangers /new people as well as public speaking. So it has really impacted me because if I can beat my fears, I can help others in the same situation!

  • I mean to the room yesterday I think I changed in multiple ways. For example, over the course of our time together I came out of my shell a bit and became more comfortable when interacting with people I didn't know that well. I also learned how important it is to treat everyone with kindness, respect, empathy, and I learned to work with teams better. 

  • I've changed since yesterday because I know simply have a better understanding of teamwork and kindness. I believe it to be this way because of all of the tasks that we had to do. Including working with people you didn't know and trying to see eye-to-eye with someone you may not have a lot in common with.

  •  I changed my way to listen to what others have to say and how to make friends. After covid-19 it was very hard for me to make friends but I really liked how we worked as a group and did our best and for everyone became my friend.

  •  My butterfly effect is being able to show a goofy or side compared to being Stone Cold and not that serious so other people can feel comfortable and laugh with me. This also helps the environment of the situation since people can feel like they don't have to be as serious too.

  •  My hopes for the future of the Wingman Movement is to foster empathy and grow us as a person by adding to the ideas of my peers and friends. That I can now explain the bad values and can assist in the creation of a better environment where I can apply the learned values, to make the world a Kinder place for all in the hopes of cultivating an open-minded and respectful environment that all can feel comfortable in.

  • Speaking to people I am not completely familiar with. I've learned a lot about communication and how to lead a group interactively and be inclusive and willing to listen to everyone.

  •  I have learned a lot since the first day of training and I believe that my energetic personality has passed on a little bit to my fellow Wingman leaders. Seeing new friends open up and step out of their comfort zone is something that is really important to me and watching them try something they don't love and become more comfortable doing is really cool and I'm excited to do that again with more teens when I become a leader in my own class.

  • I'm hoping that I will come out of this experience with new friendships or stronger friendships. I hope that with younger grades being put into wingman the movement will hit every grade on a personal level. Because we are of different ages and we've experienced different things, it will bring a whole new perspective. I genuinely hope to see the school become a happier, less stiff environment for everyone to enjoy.

  • I now know how to facilitate and I think I've already grown to be more social and comfortable with my peers.

  •  Since I came into the room yesterday I think that I've changed by having more of an open mind with finding friends that I probably would not be friends with without Wingman. Also, I think I have developed better social skills and I think it's easier to talk to people.

  •  I felt more relaxed and comfortable with my decision to be a part of Wingman.

  •  I brought an open-mindedness to the movement hoping that I'd learn how to make meaningful connections with students and teachers on Wingman day. I'm excited to hear opinions and mend the student body to the best of our abilities.

  •  My hope for the future of this Movement is that people will look forward to Wingman days. Right now I feel like people kind of don't see the point, and feel like they are boring. I would also like to see the Wingman Movement in all schools as I think it is an amazing thing to be part of and participate in.

  •  I feel more open-minded and less scared for people that judge me it feels easier to talk to people.

  •  Since I came into the room yesterday I am more self-aware and I think that it was a great opportunity to connect with others and I think I have made friends. I also learned how to be a leader and facilitate an activity which is something I wasn't confident in before but now I have gained more confidence and I can be a good leader.

  •  Making a positive change within the school community and the culture of the school in general are my hopes for the future of the movement

  •  I have changed I feel that by now I'm more comfortable speaking out to others and helping to make a change. 

  • My hope for the future is that by having the school take our suggestions into consideration and pay more attention to what the students need, it will change for the better. 

  • One way that I've changed is I have learned how to be more open and friendly with people I don't know. I was nervous when I came in because I didn't know many people and you had to purposely find and talk to someone you didn't know. It made me start to feel more open. At first, it felt draining but became gradually more fun.

  •  Since I came into the room yesterday I've gotten a better understanding of how to be empathetic towards others and I've learned how to be confident around others and give and receive support to and from others.

Redding, CT. November 2021. Middle School

  • I hope I can continue to be a good leader and get better at leading 

  • I hope we have a special needs day.

  • My hope for the future is that John Read becomes a better environment from Wingman and the students after us have an even better experience. 

  • New perspective on what Wingman is and some more things we will do. 

  • I have met a lot of new people and I have changed my understanding of the Wingman Movement.

  • I've changed by becoming a better leader, listening better, talking more. My hope for the future is to help people and make a change. 

  • My butterfly effect is the ability to make people's days brighter. Another way to say it is “share your sparkle!”

  • I hope that many people will be a Wingman and that we will all learn and spread kindness.

  • I have become a better listener over the last two days and I am a better leader now.

  • I have changed from yesterday by being able to work with people I don't normally work with.

  • I hope that everyone will be kind and empathetic towards one another.

  • I've changed by participating more and taking more initiative.

  • I hope in the future this movement can spread to the entire USA, not just here in Reading.

  • My hope Is that our community / wingman will grow across the country / world. I'm hoping as I grow up I can be a part of it.

  • My hope is to make a difference, big or small. It could be something as simple as helping one kid or hundreds. I just want to help make a difference.

  • I hope that in the future Wingman expands much further, since from what I've seen they've been doing a real good for JRMS. I also hope that kids with disabilities are more accepted in a community and that Wingman may be able to include those kids.

  • I have gained more patience, while leading a group.

  • I hope that in the future Wingman has left kids at JRMS with great memories and feeling good.

  •  My hopes for the future are that we are  that after we do Wingman activities, kids will be kind and empathetic.

  •  I have changed from yesterday by not knowing how to be a leader to now being able to know how to be a leader.

  • I got to know more people.

  • My hopes for the future are that the culture in most schools will change to a positive and bullying free environment. My effect that will help that change is that I will teach others how to be kinder and more empathetic while protecting those teachings myself.

Cranbury, NJ. November 2021. Middle School

  • I understand what it means to be a Wingman and how I can help other people in the community in general.

  • I hope that in the future I will be able to apply the skills I learned in wingman two everyday situations. I also hope that I can help others.

  • I hope that in the future Cranbury School keeps and further grows the sense of community all of us feel. I think the school is already doing great at this, but the Wingman program is helping us out a lot. I think this program will cause the younger grades at Cranbury to feel the same way that I do.

  • In the future, I would like to apply the skills I have learned in Wingman to our school.

  • I have realized how to engage many people at once with a simple yet fun game or activity.

  • My hopes for the future are that our school can become a happy, kind, and helpful place to learn without any bullying.

  • My Hope for the future is that people are more open-minded and can be understanding of each other which in turn would make them Kinder and more empathetic.

  • My Hope for the future is that more people join wingman and help improve the community and help others.

  • I have changed because I am now aware and ready to help others.

  • My Hope for the future is that people in schools are more considerate and helpful and that people take the boy scout slogan to heart do a good turn daily.

  • My Hope Is that everyone will have a Wingman.

  • I've changed since I came into the room yesterday because I have gained more leadership skills.

  • I've become more self-aware over the last two days. I have also learned that I am a part of small bonding acts to become more friendly.

  • I think I've talked to more people and become more comfortable with it.

  • My hope for this school is that everyone feels accepted and feels that they belong here.

  • My butterfly effect is spreading positivity and joy through random acts of kindness. I want to give compliments, do small favors, and put smiles on people's faces. Hopefully, the small things will spread to create a butterfly effect in our school. 

  • I'm more comfortable around these people than I was yesterday. I can talk to them more easily and I think what is helping me be more comfortable with them is doing all these activities together. And being able to work with them was really nice.

  • I've changed since I came into the room yesterday. Yesterday, I had no idea what I was going to do here, and I didn't have strong communication skills. I also didn't feel comfortable sharing with people I didn't know. Now I have learned how to include everyone and to be a good leader, peer, and friend.

  • My Hope for the future is that people are more accepting and open-minded to change.

  • I hope to see my school and my community grow to become more inclusive and make kids excited about school. 

  • My butterfly effect is kindness and positivity. Whenever I go into a room or group of people I try to make at least one person smile because then they make other people smile as well. I am always positive and over time people also become positive.

  • My hope for the future of the school is that everyone will have a safe space and will be included.

  • I hope the school uses some of our ideas like a flex period and the desks in a circle.

  • I have learned more leadership skills. I have also learned to Branch out and talk to different people and just to try new things.

  • My hope for the future is to hopefully create a more unique, diverse, and amazing community in Cranbury School together.

Columbia, CT. November 2021. Middle & High School

  • By being able to listen better and communicate better.

  • My hopes for the future is that school becomes a better place.

  • I feel like I'm a better listener even though I don't agree initially. When they explain it more I might understand better.

  • My hope for the future of this program is to help more and more kids.

  • My butterfly effect is I spread happiness!

  • My hope for the future is to be able to be more flexible in helping people.

  • I want  the earth to be healthier and not have school shootings so that if there wasn't Dylan might still be here.

  • My hopes are to help people like how Robb is right now.

  • I've changed because I know how to communicate better. I hope to help the younger kids.

  • I've become more open to others. I can't wait to work on this more.

  • I want to continue this program and encourage others to join as well.

  • Since I came into the room yesterday I have felt more comfortable with the people around.

  • My hope for the future is for everybody to be kinder to each other.

  • My butterfly effect is spreading kindness and happiness.

  • I think my butterfly effect is that I can give someone a compliment, a look, a smile, or just talk to them and it can brighten their whole day.

  • Since yesterday I've changed by being open to friends and open in general. I hope that Wingman blows up and spreads everywhere. My effect is to motivate someone else to do it to another person and spread it on.

  • I learned not to judge somebody by looks and or by what other people say about them. Also how to include and be more nice to people.

Winsted, CT. November 2021. Middle & High School

  • I hope that Wingman works this year and it becomes a tradition and Wingman graduates come back and talk about their experience.

  • I've changed since yesterday because I've gotten more out of my comfort zone.

  • Since I walked into the room yesterday everything was kind of confusing. Now, I got the hang of it. Still not used to public speaking but I will get better at it. I have gained more confidence when I do public speaking.

  • I've changed by being less scared of standing up for what I believe in.

  • When I first walked into the Wingman program I didn't take the time to understand how people view certain things. Now I see it's just not only my perspective but others too. 

  • My hopes for the future are that our school would be a safe space for everyone. No more racist people or homophobic, etc.

  • I changed by becoming more sociable.

  • My hopes for the future is for everyone to get along and for discrimination and not-so-good things to stop.

  • I hope every student leaves Gilbert feeling like they made good friends and memories.

  • My butterfly effect will hopefully be spreading connections between kids around the school.

  • My butterfly effect is that by listening to others and treating them with kindness, they'll do the same for others.

  • I have become more comfortable with the people I worked with and speaking in front of them.

  • I hope my future is bright and the Gilbert School becomes the school we hope to go to.

  • I want to be free of judgment.

  • I have become more confident and feel I can do more than before.

  • I've changed since yesterday morning by improving the friendships with people in this room I drifted from and making new friends.

  • My hopes for the future are my teachers actually listening to us finally and changing for the better.

  • I hope that through the Wingman Movement we can improve the school community and make it a better place for everyone.

  • My eyes are more open to others’ experiences.

  • And I realized that a lot of people have been through similar things that I have been through and that I'm not alone. 

  • My Hope for the future is that the Wingman Movement continues at the Gilbert School for generations to come. I want the movement to encourage our community to become a more positive space.

  • My butterfly effect is joining the Wingman Movement because I want my ripple to change other students and staff.

  • I hope that we change and improve the school by uniting students to stand up to discrimination.

  • I'm walking out of this knowing how to be a good leader and knowing the meaning of empathy.

  • What I hope for the future is to have more equality! I want new and old students to feel comfortable in this school.

  • For the future, I hope that the Wingman Movement can help the students and staff learn to respect each other and that the students can build a community with each other.

  • I hope that the future of the Gilbert School will achieve a time of tranquility, kindness, and equality within the student body and faculty.

  • I've gotten more confident around people.

  • I hope to get more people involved in the future years when Wingman comes back.

  • How I have changed is that I've learned how to be a better leader.

  • I have seen things from others’ points of view. I have more different reasons as to why I want to do this and why it's a great idea for the school.

  • I've seen people more excited today about the Wingman Movement than yesterday.

  •  My hopes for the future are that we can make it a better and safer place for everyone. I hope that we can make it so that people feel comfortable and that they want to be here.

  • I think when I show people some of the things in The Wingman program they might show it to others.

  • My hope for the school is that everyone feels safe and welcomed. 

  • I improved in these two days in different ways I improved myself.

  • I am changed since I walked in the door because I learned new traits that lead to better leadership skills.

  • My butterfly effect is bringing trust and empathy to the wingman group because I feel like people should be able to trust and talk to someone if some things aren't going so great in someone's life to make them feel better.

  • In the future I want students to feel more comfortable at school.

  • I am making a change by being here to help even with little things to help people out and make them feel cared for.

  • I think I changed by becoming nicer I guess. I definitely have more teamwork skills.

  • I've changed since I walked through the door yesterday as I feel more comfortable with being around people I don't know or talk to.

  • I hope this school gives more opportunities for students in the future.

  • I hope to see a future where people can be independent together. A world where people aren't confident enough in themselves to stoop down and help someone who isn't yet.

  • My hopes are to bring our school community together and to get along with each other more instead of fighting, disrespect, and not liking one another.

  • My hope for the future is that the wingman movement gets to expand throughout the school and the country. I also hope to lead others with the skills I've learned from my man. Our school should be a better place.

Weston, CT. October 2021. Middle School

  • I now think about more things that I initially would have thought to be unimportant and recognize that they truly are important. I think more about the effects of my words and actions on others.

  • I have changed a lot since yesterday morning. Before, I had some knowledge of the Movement but now I know even more. I remember doing the activities in sixth grade and it was very enjoyable. I am glad I have been able to learn more about the Wingman Movement, and I am very grateful that I was able to go through the training process. I'm very glad to be a part of the Wingman movement.

  • My butterfly effect is making people feel better and making people feel great about themselves and feel like they belong.

  • I've changed to be more involved with people and Wingman activities. I became more outgoing like speaking up front and facing the fear of messing up. I was worried about speaking in front of the class but the activities helped me overcome that. Now I feel confident putting myself out there.

  • A few days ago I was shy and honestly scared to talk in front of a lot of people, even this morning. I realized that there is no reason to be scared or shy, I just have to be myself no matter if I'm in front of one million random people or in front of one person that I've known for years. Not only have I changed from scared to confident, I've also changed into a person who is nice, caring, and wants to go in front of a huge crowd to change how people are mean to others.

  • Since I came in, I learned how hard it is to get people's attention, especially kids! I learned that sometimes you have to work with people you don't want to, but most of the time you'll make a new friend.

  • Since I came in the door yesterday, I think I have changed. My first thoughts were that I barely knew about any of the people here, although we were friendly to each other. I was very shy and didn't interact with other people. I also thought it would be a bit boring to spend the whole school day in the same classroom. As it went on, we did fun activities and time flew by, but I was still shy. The second day I think I was more open, more interactive, and I enjoyed myself.

  • My butterfly effect is kindness. If I spread kindness then other people would want to as well, because being kind makes everyone feel good. If everyone spreads a little kindness, then our world can be happier.

  • I think I have changed by making relationships with other kids and I think I have brought some comfort to others with my humor. I also think that I have made some friends when I joined.

  • My butterfly effect is spreading kindness and positivity wherever and whenever.

  • When I first came through the door, I wasn't thinking small term. A lot of things I said even though they were small, could make a difference. Maybe it was a rude joke I made, or a gesture I did. But I now know these things can be seen as offensive, rude, or inappropriate.

  • I now realize some of the flaws I have and I will work on fixing them. I also have more knowledge about Wingman than I did before.

  • I have changed because I learned the effect of my words. A few days ago I didn't know how much disrespect and hateful words, even if joking, can affect my peers. Now I have learned anything I say can make an impact and I need to start thinking before I speak. Thinking before speaking is an important part of being a leader, which I now know and I will try to live by.

  • My butterfly effect is inclusion, throughout each challenge I made sure that everyone was a part of what was happening. Doing so increased the amount of people that felt welcome during the activity.

  • I hope that in the future I can help to make a positive impact on someone else. Ever since I joined Wingman I have realized what empathizing for other people and teamwork really means. I am very thankful and I hope I can be a part of something that will make others feel the same way!

  • I feel I have become more understanding and I'm better at showing empathy. The past two days I have learned how to be a better person and friend. When a friend tells me about something that happened to them, I feel like I can help them more now.

  • When I walked in the door I was tired and felt lazy. Now from learning how other people feel I can relate and remember I'm not the only one feeling how I was.

  • I've learned when the right time to talk is and I've also learned that you have to find a deeper meaning in some things and always learning life lessons.

  • Since yesterday I have changed from being nervous to being a Wingman, and to be mostly excited. I have also changed by wanting to step out of my comfort zone, and I learned how hard it can be to get people's attention and how frustrating it can be.

  • I feel like I've become more open to talking with people, and became a better leader.

  • I realized that I was no longer just doing Wingman to be with friends, or to be in a club. I was doing it to help people and I am now in a  commitment greater than me. I am thankful for that.

  • I have changed in many ways since we started here. One way I've changed is through my anger control. I've learned not to get annoyed with people around me. This program really helped me to achieve that. 

  • In the future I hope that the world will be a better, kinder and more inclusive place. I hope that people will be more supportive of others. 

  • I changed because now I have made more friends and I Know a lot more about people that I haven't even seen before.

  • My hope for the future is to build a place to make people happy, mindful, and motivated.

  • I've changed since yesterday. I have because I realized how important kindness is and how it can be how it can really impact someone. That is part of what Wingman is, being kind and inclusive.

  • I feel more confident in teaching a class. I would prefer to teach a 6th grade class versus a peer-to-peer class. I would love to teach with one of the activities we did today. I hope to see a change in this cool. (Kinder people, more support, and such/ Etc.)

  • I learned how to react to people's emotions. I am excited for this fun and new journey. I learned how to present to people. 

  • How do you change by being more comfortable with this group. I have made new friends and made more memories. I have changed for the better. I look to the future now. I can't wait to get started. 

  • My hopes for the future is to help spread kindness and meet lots of new people and do fun activities with them.

  • I have learned that my actions affect people and the things I do, I may forget, but the other person might remember for their entire life. This has changed me to think before I act.

  • I feel like I have gotten more confident with new people, thinking back I could only name some of the people in this room, but now I can name every single person! I hope people will never feel lonely or useless ever again.

  • I have become more aware of the people around me, I know not to rush to assumptions and to be friendly and inclusive.

  • Yesterday I was scared and nervous to be with a group I'm normally not with and I was worried about making a mistake. But today I feel excited to be part of a group that is able to make a difference and feel good about myself.

  • I'm not sure yet because I'm growing into the person I am but I think I am caring. 

  • My hope for the future is to make others feel comfortable. I want the future of this school to be constantly more welcoming.

  • My butterfly effect is to show that colored, (black, brown) people can do anything that whites can do. And that girls can do anything boys can do. 

  • This morning when I walked through the door I was expecting to come in and play some games, but instead I learned about teamwork and words and many more things. I changed by learning how to be a good teammate and to be kind to everyone around me. No matter the situation. 

  • I have changed since yesterday because I've learned how to be part of teamwork.

  • I have a better appreciation of kindness and now can tell how much fixing our school needs. I never realized how much better our school needs to be.

Ellington, CT. October 2021. Middle School

  • My perspective has changed since yesterday. I've learned new things that I didn't really think of yesterday. I have become a better person.

  • I think that I have changed in a couple of ways since yesterday. I have learned that being a leader is not just talkin and leading a group of people. It is listening, empathy, helping others lead, and even more this movement has helped me learn how to be a true leader.

  • One reason I have changed since yesterday is I have learned how to be able to work with all different kinds of personalities and people.

  •  Since yesterday, I've learned how to politely and pleasantly get the attention of large groups. 

  • I now view things differently such as the activities and how they actually have meanings and teach lessons.

  • My butterfly effect is to help people feel welcomed and like they belong.

  • I've changed by now being self-aware and now feeling more comfortable with the group.

  • Since yesterday I think I've learned not to judge others by their appearances. I don't know most of the people well enough that I've worked with today and from what I've learned they're all pretty nice.

  • My Hope for the future is that the wingman movement can expand its Butterfly Effect across the country like more states / regions that are not just in the Northeast.

  • I hope that the school can keep this movement and that it goes to high school and then it goes to other schools.

  • I've changed since yesterday because when I learned to try other people's ideas I accepted and did that when I could.

  • I have changed by learning leadership skills and listening skills.

  • I have changed from yesterday because yesterday I did not participate but today I did.

  • I changed a lot because I was more engaged and I have improved a lot as a leader.

  • I have changed because I now know how to better present myself and make new friends.

  • My hopes for the future of the Wingman Movement is that we can spread it to all of America and maybe worldwide in the future. 

  • My hopes for the future are for people to be more accepting of others no matter what their beliefs may be.

  • My hope for the school's future is that people will start respecting each other and stop being ignorant.

  • My hope for the future is to make the Wingman Movement bigger and better. I want people to feel welcome and special in their own way.

  • For the future I want EMS to be a safe and secure place the kids want to go to. I want it to be fun and colorful and decorative.

  • I changed because now I understand leadership a lot more.

  • I came out of my shell today more than yesterday.

  • My hopes for the future of our school is that there will be less judging, homophobia, racism, sexism, ageism, etc. I want kids to feel safe in our school!

  •  Something that has changed since yesterday is realizing how important leadership is in our school. Because without leadership our school would not be as great as it is.

Middlebury, CT. October 2021. Middle School

  • I feel less alone and excluded than I did yesterday. I think our group is excited that we've learned new things and to teach them to others.

  • I think Wingman is a good movement because it helps make school a better place and enforce better behavior not only coming from an adult but also from kids.

  • I feel that Wingman is a really good program to bring kindness to our school.

  • I'm pretty comfortable with this group now after spending two full days with them. I feel I've built a lot of new relationships and will remember these times for a long time.

  • I feel this Movement is a good way to teach kids respect.

  • I'm super excited about Wingman. I love the people and it is super fun.

  • I think Wingman will make a difference in the school for the better. I'm excited to help.

  • I feel more confident talking to these people since I came in the door yesterday.

  • I feel confident and I feel that way a man can make a change.

  • I feel comfortable around my group mates, these people are my friends. I feel limitless as in being able to do anything.

  • I know everyone a lot better now.

  • I feel that me and my group have improved a lot. We all learned so much together, about many things. I had a lot of fun!

  • I feel confident about my own and my group's ability to make the community a better place.

  • At first I was nervous, but I got to know everyone.

  • I'm feeling really good that I joined the Movement and the group is literally so fun and funny. Yeah!!

  • I've changed because I feel like I have become more aware of everything.

  • I've changed because I now know everyone here and I've learned to interact with them and others through being a Wingman leader.

  • I think it is a good group but it might take some time for some people to take it seriously.

  • I feel like Wingman will help a lot of people. 

  • I feel more ready to go and see kids and work with them. I feel more like a leader.

  • I feel like I know what I'm doing more with leadership.

  • I feel more comfortable with this group and  presenting to people.

  • My hopes for the future is that I get to be a part of a lot of things that Wingman does.

  •  I'm a better public speaker, better leader, kinder person, more patient  listener and better person than I was yesterday.

  • I feel good about myself and the group.

  • I'm feeling confident and proud of my group for completing the challenging tasks and becoming better leaders.

  • I have changed in the fact that I think I learned how to work with others better and I should not be afraid in front of other people.

  • I hope to become an awesome person.

  • I feel like our group all gets along well, and we can work together easily. I see kindness and leadership in all of us.

  • I'm feeling confident in myself about the Wingman Program.

  • I'm feeling good because I feel prepared about the Wingman Movement.

  • I've learned how to read a group activity and be a better leader. I think this training has also allowed me to become a better person.

  • My hope is to be a better person for me and for everyone else.

  • I'm feeling good because I think I know what we are doing.

  • I have a better understanding of the Movement.

  • I feel good about helping out in classrooms.

  • One thing that I hope for the future is that Wingman makes a big difference in our school.

  • I've become a better leader and I learned how to be a better presenter to my peers.

  • I want to be a leader and help other kids when I'm in high school and college.

  • I hope that in the future we make an impact in the school and that we see a positive change in the students' behaviors.

  • I hope to work with kids and help them become more social.

  • My hopes for the future are to become the best person that I can be.

  • I want everyone in the future to be kinder and more respectful than they are today.

Milford, CT. August 2021. Middle School

  • I'm tired, but it's been a good 2 days. I've learned so much and met so many new people. I can't wait to be a Wingman

  • I saw these past two days I felt included and welcome. This was incredibly fun and I will definitely do this again in 8th grade. The teachers were so nice and kind and welcoming they were also very understanding.

  • The past two days I was happy. I made new friends and it was part of something really, really great. I also felt / feel like the past two days were really fun. We learned a lot about each other.

  • I think that the past two days have been so fun and I learned a lot. We need so many games and I made so many new friends. I am so happy that I am part of this amazing program.

  • I think that these past two days have been fun for me. This was such a great experience and it definitely prepared me to be a wingman.

  • The Wingman Program made me feel: less anxious, very included, joyful, experienced, proud, accomplished, educated.

  • I think that these past two days were very fun and I gained a lot of useful information. My favorite activity was passing the can with our feet. I can't wait to put the newly learned skills to use in the 21-22 school year.

  • I really liked it because I met new people and I'm less nervous. I am very excited to be part of Wingman.

  • It's been a fun experience. I love learning the games and talking to new people. I feel like this is one big happy family.

  • The past two days have certainly been interesting. I must say that I was very nervous coming in, but I think that it went very well. I've met so many nice people. And I hope to see you all again, even though you might be in another school. Thank you for having me! It has been a big emotional happy roller coaster. I enjoyed talking openly with the whole class. I thought that we all, teachers and students, grew closer than I thought we would in the past few days. I wish you well!

  • I really enjoyed the past two days. I met new people that I will see in the Halls this year. I learned a lot of new games, most were very enjoyable. I feel much more prepared for what is expected of me for the upcoming year. I'm glad I was able to be in a school learning environment before the trimester starts. I am able to ease into the school year better now. I also got a better understanding of why the Wingman Movement was created, and I'm proud to be part of it.

  • I think the Wingman training was a great opportunity to meet new people. I had fun learning and facilitating games that I hope to share the fun during the school year! When Ian gave a speech about how the Wingman Program started, I was very moved and found that he said what he said to be inspirational. He taught us to find Hope and happiness during difficult times. I hope that I can try to be a more positive person over all and one who will be extremely kind and respectful to others. I can't wait to make the world a better place! Thanks!

  • I loved it!! It helped me to get new friends and show myself more. It was very fun to put myself through the bucket passing game. There is not one thing bad that we did here. I think that we should do this more.

  • There were meaningful conversations that I think everyone could relate to. Everyone was kind and respectful.

  • I liked everything. All the games, making a “school”, I liked everything, meeting some new people!!

  • It was good because we did many fun things like learning new games. Rock-paper-scissors show - splits and 52 Pickup. Also I meant more friends in this Movement. I think what they're doing is amazing and how people open up about experiences that they've had in the past is great. I found this very motivating. I love Wingman!

  • I felt like everyone was here to make a change to the world.

  • The one thing I really liked was the fact that everyone was so willing to talk to you at the end because at first some people were a little bit more shy. Next I think I changed because now I feel like I can talk to others here.

  • Wingman changed me by making me feel less shy because I opened up a lot and it helps me a lot.

  • I have changed socially and mentally. I have made new friends. Now I feel more open to meeting new people. Wingman is going to make me a better person. I am very glad I took this opportunity!

  • I've become more social ever since I started Wingman. Before Wingman I wasn't good at meeting new people, until Wingman changed me.

  • I think this group is super kind. My favorite friend is making new friends. 

  • I changed because I feel like I was less social before I came here. When I first arrived I mainly talked to my friends, now I am more open and I feel more confident. I try to talk to everyone now. 

  • What stood out to me was the speech. It was emotionally uplifting and I feel like it changed me as a person. I hope the program will keep growing.

  • My Wingman experience was phenomenal. I had so much fun with all of my peers. At first, the group was shy and awkward, but as we got to know each other, we built a wonderful classroom community. Playing all the games from the start, really helped our group to get to know each other. The rock-paper-scissors show game was so much fun because we got to meet so many new people from different schools. At first I had barely anyone to sit with at lunch, but by the next day I had a whole group of friends! I will forever remember this wonderful wingman experience.

  • Wingman caused me to socialize more which is important, especially now. I think it has helped me with my shyness and I believe now when I socialize with new people, I will be more open. I had fun and laughed during wingman training. I cannot wait to do Wingman during the school year and to introduce new people to it.

  • I changed at the end of Wingman. I have grown to be more social and I've grown to be better able to meet new people.

  • Wingman is great because we/I get to connect with a new community! I have gotten to meet new friends. I have also seen some old friends. I love Wingman and I am excited to be a part of this community!

  • This Wingman experience was so much fun. I like how everyone came together. I had fun playing all of the games. I can't wait to do Wingman in the Fall!

Bordentown, NJ. August 2021. Middle School

  • The thing I liked most was being part of a group. It made me feel good about myself.

  • The past two days have been really fun. I enjoyed the activities. My favorite was Tin Can Pass, Have you Ever? and Handshake Mingle. Lori and Miguel were super fun and they made my experience so much better. I would like to thank them a lot!

  • I thought Wingman was amazing. I am so grateful that I got in. Lori and you guys are awesome!

  • The Wingman Program was awesome. I learned a lot and it made me excited. I cannot wait to go to classrooms.

  • I thought it was good. I learned many activities and how to respect people's wishes. I liked that no one made me do anything, I liked learning challenge by choice.

  • I really liked it! It was fun and I had a great time! I even made a new friend. I was nervous at first, but as it went on, I learned how fun it was. The conversations I had with people were very entertaining.

  • The Wingman Program was fun. It helped a lot of people come out of their comfort zone and it will have a good impact on our school.

  • I think that this was fun. It will help the kids be themselves and not feel lonely or shy. Yes, I may miss some work, but this is for the greater good of our school.

Milford, CT. February 2020. Elementary School

 

  • I can carry the Wingman movement by putting my all into it.  I have changed a lot, I’ve been working on my leadership skills and thinking about how to stay positive, never give up so that I can help other kids, so they can be future Wingman.

  • The Wingman movement to me is a fun program that helps us get better at being kind and opening up. Also, fun activities to play and most of all you can’t argue that Robb is the best trainer.

  • The Wingman movement will make the world a better place by teaching humans about leadership and I changed by learning how to teach people in a way they get. 

  • I think I can help carry on the movement by being the kindest person I can be and be myself. I can also talk to other people about it.  I feel like I understand what team work and being a leader actually is, since I walked through the door yesterday I am so proud to be a Wingman!

  • The Wingman movement is a respectful, kind, and caring thing that everyone can do every day. 

  • We can show kindness and respect to others.  We can also all be leaders, not just the ones in the Wingman movement.  

  • A way I could keep this going is being kind and caring and hope that other kids are inspired by me and they do this movement.

  • The Wingman movement is that some students get chosen to be a Wingman leader and to be kind and respectful.  When I first came to Wingman I didn’t really know what to expect but now that I know that it is nice and that it’s a kind place.

  • I want to accept anyone at any time in my life. I want to help someone feel like they are cared for and that they put a smile on someone else's face. I feel that this movement is great because everyone feels included just by doing an activity.

  • I thought that the handshakes were really fun and I thought that it really brought us together, so when we go to the lower grades I am going to do that with them. Wingman was so much fun and I am going to carry on kindness!!

  • I think that you have this plan to make kids happy.  Just learn how then just DO it, just wake up and HELP kids. This movement is trying to make life better and fun to do ALL of it, to not miss out on life and HAVE FUN!!

  • I can help this movement by going forward and giving kindness and being a leader for others and keep this movement going. I think this program is a fun and amazing way to encourage others to be leaders and amazing people.  I hope this movement can change the world and do great things. 

  • I think the movement is about being kind and being a leader.  I hope that the Wingman program keeps going and getting bigger with more and more people.

  • Wingman is a great movement, it teaches others how to be a great leader and to be kind!  After you train, you spread what you know to make the world a better place.  I learned that a great leader has respect, responsibility, and kindness.  Once you share what you learned to someone else and they spread it, it keeps on going!  Go Wingman!

  • I changed when I walked in the door yesterday.  I made new friends, and I feel more proud of myself.

  • I think the Wingman movement is a great program that has spread throughout the whole United States of America and not only a program but a great opportunity to make new friends or be a great friend to other people.  And last a Wingman is also a helper for little kids that might not have that many friends. 

  • I think the Wingman movement is to help illuminate what the meaning of kindness is.

  • Wingman is a very powerful movement that spreads kindness not only to the class, but to the school.

  • I bring to the Wingman movement myself and my ideas.  I will carry on the Wingman movement by being kind, sharing it with others and have them be a part of it.  I wish in the future for the Wingman movement to become more than a movement and become something everyone knows about and learns about.  

  • To me, the Wingman movement is something that everyone can be a part of.  I think that everyone can be kind, caring, and respectful.  No matter how much work it takes, everybody can be happy. That is my dream.

Meriden, CT. February 2020. Magnet Middle School

  • To be a better kind of person is so simple and yet can make a world of change. To be sympathetic is to feel bad for someone, but to be empathetic is to feel bad with someone. And then to do something about it is to be a Wingman. The world won’t change overnight but in time if we put in the effort for change then it can happen. Kindness is our strength.

  • Collect information from the people. Whenever I’m facilitating a group, I could ask them how they felt about it and what the activity made them think about. This way I can learn and make the activity better for the next group. Be open minded. By thinking through the participants' perspective, I can try and correct mistakes I see.

  • What I took away from Wingman. Always give people a chance to speak up. Put your trust in everyone around you. Kindness is key. Not everyone is a leader so give them a chance to be one. When you work together you can accomplish so much more. There are friends all around you even if you’ve never talked to them. Have patience.

  • I learned that: empathy is different than sympathy. Sometimes everyone needs a Wingman. Meeting new people is fun and important. Hearing everyone’s opinion is better than voting. They’re are both good and bad things about the environment in the school.

  • Wingman really taught me that it is very important to treat others the way we would like to be treated because we are not different. I also learned that if we were nice to each other the world would change and it would be so much different. Everyone is equal, no one is better than the other and we would all be happy to be treated the same kind way.

  • Wingman is a program, not only a program but a movement, to help others connect. We learned many skills of a Wingman leader. We need empathy, courage and many more. Most importantly we need kindness. We can’t just be “nice”. Nice is good, but kindness can be life-changing. We are Wingman. We are family.

  • Being in Wingman means to me, being able to help others and let people open up, to help them have a better day. I think just one act of kindness could change the world. Wingman has helped me get out of my comfort zone so I can be kind to everyone, especially people who need it.

  • I took away that everyone has a chance to change the world or someone’s day. Also that everyone can be a leader, whether they are a natural leader or a leader that came with time. I learned teamwork is a big part of leadership. I don't usually like working with others. Now I have learned that it is a big part of leadership. Having fun. These two days have shown me that I can work and have fun. Lastly, patience. Patience is key. I get mad easily but I learned that to be a leader I have to have patience to deal with people.

  • To me this meant that whenever you’re going through a tough time you might know someone who has it harder, go help them. It might be hard at first but it will make you feel good but make the other person feel even better.

  • Sharing. Always look for the good in someone. Selflessness. Never giving up when something brings you down. Hope to change the world. Always work together. Being nice is not like being kind. Never judge someone by how they look.

  • I used to be shy but now I’ve met some new people and played new games. Just being here at Wingman makes me feel excited and happy. On the first day I was nervous. But now I’m out of my comfort zone.

  • Empathy, understanding a person's situation and trying to help them, may seem small but small things can really make a big difference. If you trust one another you can build better teams and connections. Even doing something small like reaching out, helping someone and building connections can make a huge impact.

  • To become better and love everybody. You might never know what’s going on in somebody’s life. Try to be the person someone can go to if they need help. Empathy is always needed. Wingman is to help others and let them be able to trust us. Trust me, we need it. XOXO have a bueno dia.

  • I’m getting out of this by showing people what kind is. And also by doing it. Tell people that other people are there that can relate to them and that they’re not alone.

  • I want to change the world. I want our school to be a strong, kind place to learn. I’m proud to be one of the people at Thomas Edison who is working to make this happen.

  • To me this meant: a chance to be myself. Learning how to teach groups of students to be kind to everyone. Group activities to learn everyone’s names. Group activities to learn more about people you might not know and learn some things you might not have known.

  • I will be able to be more open with others and get out of my comfort zone. I am sure that Wingman will change my perspective on life. It feels awkward at first but not when you get to know each other.

  • Wingman reflection: being kind is different than being nice. Giving someone a compliment may not seem like a big deal, but it really is. Being nervous wasn’t worth it (I had fun). Icebreakers really do help break the ice. Coming together and being kind isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

  • What I took away from Wingman. I took away the importance of learning someone’s name and communicating with others in various activities. I also learned about making compromises with others in a team so no one feels left out. Being a Wingman. It’s important to have a role model in your life and being a role model myself through Wingman is a lot of pressure, but it’s worth it if I can bring people together.

  • Nothing goes the way it’s expected. Kindness always wins. Selflessness is key. Communication is very helpful.

  • I’m going to help people in many different ways which will help me take action more and become more confident.

  • Helping me be confident and help others. Also help make school more fun.

Meriden, CT. January 2020. Magnet Middle School

  • I learned to connect around me. At Wingman I loved seeing people laugh and have fun, being themselves. I truly believe this was a safe place. I am honored to be a Wingman. Thank you Mr. Justin.

  • I want to make a difference in the world and make people more kind to one another. I am really proud of joining this Wingman program because I want to be kind and respectful of people‘s differences! I love this program!

  • My takeaways are confidence, helping others, learning about others, accepting others beliefs, making others happy, and being proud.

  • I am hopeful for being here and having a good time. When I’m here I don’t feel forced to be here, like school. Thank you!

  • I am hopeful that with us doing the Wingman program our school will become a better community!

  • I am happy to be here because I would like to help others and teach them more about Wingman.

  • I’m happy to be here, I hope we can make people smile, I wish to make friends, I hope to have someone happy and knowing it was because of us!

  • I learned that it’s better to be kind than put someone down.

  • I am happy that I am a Wingman because I love helping people!

  • I was so confident when I first got here and now I am scared. When I presented with xxxxxx a lot of people criticized our presentation, but I became a wingman to teach others goodness and to become a leader and to also help the community.

  • I am hopeful that everyone chosen will lead in a positive way, not just when doing Wingman but in their everyday lives.

  • I’m feeling excited and proud to be a Wingman. I want to change and better our community.

  • I hope our empathy will change lives.

  • I am hopeful that we can make a positive impact for others and our community.

  • I learned to be better as a person. I was told how to fix some mistakes. I’m glad I’m doing this program/movement. I have better abilities to cooperate with people.

  • I learned teamwork, learning more about Wingman, new friends, and connecting with others.

  • That we need to help each other. That we can be ourselves.

  • I joined Wingman so I had a chance to make good in my community. I want to make more kindness and make lots of people happy. I also am really proud of joining and that I have a chance to be a teacher.

  • I think that this program will help so many kids in our community, and our world. I want to help people become better. Teamwork, leadership, kindness are just some qualities to help.

  • I feel grateful and excited that I have made it into Wingman. I feel like this program can and will make me confident, a leader and a better person. I signed up for Wingman because I like making people feel happy. I’d like to make people laugh. Also I’m excited about helping others.

  • I feel excited and happy that these days were inspiring and I felt much emotion. I’ve learned how to become a better leader than I was before. I wish these days weren’t ending but overall I had an amazing time.

Woodbury, CT. January 2020. High School

  • Wingman is a great way to make everyone feel included. Everyone deserves to feel appreciated, and Wingman makes that happen.

  • The reason I am in Wingman is because I wanted to participate in the focus group. When it turned into Wingman I heard about Dylan‘s story and deeply touched me.

  • I enjoy Wingman because everyone is very friendly to each other, when before I joined I didn’t know what to expect from people in a new school I didn’t know.

  • I believe Wingman is a great group that is often made fun of. It’s not easy, but it is a group that is trying to make a change.

  • I’m in Wingman so I can help others feel welcome and accepted. I think the program makes others feel loved.

  • I love helping people and giving them support, advice, always keep your head up. Smile!

  • I want to provide help and knowledge to those who need it for the betterment of themselves. Wingman has given me an opportunity to do such with freshmen and fellow students.

  • I am in Wingman because I want to help people going through hard times, because when I had someone there for me I didn’t feel alone. Wingman brings people together so everyone always has someone.

  • My reason for joining wingman is for everyone’s benefit; as a freshman I thought that having a Wingman was great and that was the main reason why I joined. One of my main takeaways is being a better person and helping others better themselves.

  • I am here to help those around me feel accepted so they never have to feel ostracized.

  • I joined the movement because I was moved by Dylan's story and realized I can help that never happen again and be a part of the change. Wingman helped me be able to help others.

  • I think we could take away that there was one time in your life where you needed or didn’t realize you had a Wingman.

  • Wingman has a special place in my heart because my friend lost her niece during Sandy Hook. Its message of empathy, kindness and being a Wingman is a wonderful way to honor the legacy of the victims of such a horrible tragedy.

  • Wingman has given me people to look up to like Ian and Justin, and the advisers. It has also given me great friends who like improving life for others. I hope in the future Wingman will become even more one on one between Wingman and freshmen.

  • Wingman is proof that people care. It is proof that there are people within the school community that want the most estranged, isolated individuals to feel included and valued. This is a message and an idea that every single school should adopt. It creates lasting friendships and support systems among students and plainly and simply makes Nonnewaug a better place.

  • Wingman leaders inspire me. All successes, small and big, are all important and far-reaching.

  • Wingman allows me to become a part of something bigger than myself. It gives me the chance to make people feel included and comfortable in ways I may not have been as a freshman.

  • I finally feel like I can be myself around people and surround myself with supportive friends. Wingman makes me happy.

  • My reason for joining this wonderful movement was to help myself and others. I have always struggled with finding my true self and I have always loved helping and caring for others. I love making people happy. This program has made me realize more about myself and has strengthened my passion.

  • I want to make everyone included and students and teachers to work in unison. To show people that the world is larger than themselves. To encourage people to follow their dreams. I am much more comfortable and social.

  • To make the kids from out of district feel welcomed and everyone else feel wanted.

  • Making people feel cared for and accepted. Connecting with new people.

  • I joined Wingman because I went through a really hard time (and still am) and I didn’t really have anyone. I don’t want anyone to feel that way I felt. Being a part of Wingman has given me the feeling that I am needed for something.

  • To me, Wingman has served a void for me in my life, which is giving back. Growing up, my mom instilled in me to be a nice and kind person, and to help others out. When I came to Nonnewaug, I was lost coming from out of district. I did not know where I would fit in, or what I should do with my life. When I heard about Wingman it was a match made in heaven. I get to give back to others, helping those who need it. I am truly thankful for Wingman, and do not know where I would be without it.

  • I like Wingman because I get to be a leader. I get to pave and lead the way to the new future of happiness and positivity.

  • I feel inspired for new ideas and activities with the freshman. I feel happy because I learn something new every time I am with Wingman. My takeaway is don’t be ashamed to make new friends and speak up when necessary.

  • I like helping people and making them feel better. Being in Wingman allows me to do that more often. Also having connections with people and putting myself in their shoes.

  • I think that Wingman should be in every high school in the country, it gives students the chance to really help the school and its climate. The Wingman symbol is one that students see and they know that they can trust that person. This is why I joined Wingman.

  • I joined Wingman to help form connections between students. Je suis trés gêné par ma taille.

  • The connections, and the ability to make something bigger, as well as make an impact.

  • I do Wingman because I know what it is like to just need a friend and what it feels like to be alone and I don’t want anyone to feel like that ever.

  • I am in Wingman because I want to help people in our school and help our school environment. I also want to teach people good skills and team building activities they can use in life.

  • I have learned to be a better person. I also have learned how to lead a group of people. Met a lot of amazing people and also had a lot of amazing opportunities.

  • Because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to leave Nonnewaug knowing I did something that meant something.

  • I am in Wingman to make people feel the same way that I felt when I had a Wingman.

  • I joined Wingman because I want as many people as possible to know that I’m here for them.

Milford, CT. January 2020. Middle School

  • I feel happy because I got to meet everyone in Wingman. Also Wingman has taught me a lot, for example it showed me how to work better with teams and be a better leader.

  • I feel like through the two sessions that we had, I know and understand much more about the Wingman movement and its purpose, which is mainly to include others. I also feel like I understand myself more due to some of the reflections that we did. Lastly, I feel like I understand more about the people in this group due to team building activities.

  • I feel ecstatic that I get to be part of the Wingman movement. I feel like it gives me the power to stand up and have my voice be heard. I feel like we need more voices to be heard in the world, because if people don’t start saying something now they may miss a huge opportunity later on in their life.

  • This movement makes me feel positive and proud of myself and my school.

  • I feel that this movement positively affects people’s lives. This program can help improve the environment at our school.

  • I’m feeling prepared for what is coming next. I feel relaxed and ready. I’m also happy that it is the beginning of a new opportunity for kids to learn the importance of Wingman and what it does for the community.

  • I ended the day in a good mood knowing I made a big impact showing leadership. This makes me feel happy because we could be starting a new movement that will spread kindness around and just make our community better. This showed me I can be a good leader in a group of kind people that I don’t know.

  • I feel happy and sad. I feel happy because I feel like I’ve helped out and learned something, but I’m sad because I wish we could keep doing activities and having fun. I also think that this was a great learning experience using the activities and wish adults did things like this more.

  • After this Wingman training, I am excited and eager to start to bring the program to other students and educate them and teach them about what I have learned over these past few days. I think they will enjoy what we will bring to our school community.

  • I am happy knowing that our school has helped Wingman grow and that I am a part of it. I now know many people that I didn’t, and I hope to get to know some more in this movement.

  • I am proud to be a part of a group that works well together with good leadership skills that we get to share.

  • Wingman is a very inspiring program and it led me to meeting a lot of new people in my school. Right now I feel like I have made the right choice about joining Wingman. Wingman has made me feel like a better person and I am not scared of any negativity about Wingman because I know that is wrong.

  • I feel proud to know that I am working with a movement of people that have gained respect over others and are willing to give that same respect to others. I am also excited to see what we can come up with and do in the future.

  • I am super proud to be working with these people and for such a good cause that will eventually take over the world.

  • The reason why I joined is because I was recommended by Ms. V. The first day was fun, I met a lot of my friends and some new ones. Today was really fun!

  • I am feeling good about myself because of how much I have done with this movement, and I am proud of me and all the people in this moment.

  • Right now I’m feeling good because I’m confident I can use what I’ve learned at Wingman training to make the school and community a better and kinder, more accepting place.

  • Personally I feel like I’ve grown as a person. I realize I can continue a movement of empathy and kindness and I now know I can change the world with this. I feel very happy, yet sad the training is over. But I can’t wait to lead and spread kindness to other students and teach other students how to spread positivity.

  • I feel that we accomplish so much. Doing the activities was fun and it taught us all the meaning of being a Wingman.

  • I am happy that our school is the first to start Wingman, it is an amazing movement. I am so happy I am one of the people that were chosen.

Cranbury, NJ. November 2019. Middle School

Note, this is one of the first school training sessions where we referred to Wingman as a student-led ‘Movement’, eliciting a very clear response in their reflections.

 

  • I had no idea that a group of such different people could connect and be passionate on so many issues. This goes to show that even though I’ve been in the school for a while and thought that I knew everyone well, I actually don’t. This movement has helped me realize how similar so many of the people are and how we can really connect if you’re doing the right things.

  • I’m so grateful to be a part of this movement because I feel so much more connected to my peers. I learned so many new things about them, and I’ve learned that point of views. Coming from someone who is very observant I think it has helped others to open up more too. I’ve always been a quiet person but this movement has helped me feel more comfortable around my peers. I feel like I am now able to open up more around others, after only a two day training.

  • Happy to have this opportunity. Determined to become a better leader and step out of my comfort zone.

  • I am thankful for this opportunity to learn how to be a leader. Also this has helped me realize caring for everyone no matter what is important. This has also helped me be more open and more confident when talking to people. Also it helped me get over being nervous to talk to people.

  • I am excited to be part of a new team. And not just the team, but a group of people who have a common goal; inspiring change and being part of the Wingman movement. The potential of this movement is limitless, I can’t wait to see how far it will go.

  • I’m feeling excited and proud to be part of this amazing program. It was truly an incredible opportunity, I feel close with my classmates and teachers.

  • I feel like a new person. I believe that this new movement has changed how I think about things. Thank you Ian!

  • For me, Wingman has been an experience I’ll probably never forget. With our world in this state, we often forget to see the bright side. Wingman IS a bright side. It’s a solution. It’s a refuge. And it can really help a lot of people.

  • I feel glad that I got the opportunity to be involved in this program and I am happy I got to experience this. At some point my emotions changed but now I’m happy I got to do this but sad it had to end. This was great and I couldn’t be happier.

  • Right now, my heart feels all warm. When I first walked into the classroom on Thursday, I didn’t know what to expect. I was kind of expecting someone to come in and lecture us, but instead we all started playing games with tin cans. I never knew that students could change the world, and I love all the new people I’ve gotten to know. I’ve seen sides of them I’ve never seen before. Before, they used to be people I saw in hallways, but now they are my friends.

  • In my heart I feel that I want to help others and I want to show others the Wingman program.

  • How I feel. Happy. Sad. Good. Bad.

  • Wingman is an amazing movement. These two days have gone by so quickly, and I feel more bonded with the people in this room. The activities were super fun, but so were the reflections after.

  • I really don’t want this to end. Some of the people in this room are my friends, some aren’t necessarily, but I’m usually able to say I’m friendly with all of them. In this room it felt much more natural, like we were all friends, even though that’s not necessarily the case. Every activity felt like I learned something, and every interaction left me with something to think about. I wish I could do it all again.

  • Life right now is like a salad dressing. When left alone it is separated, but once shaken things get mixed together, and we enjoy it more. So basically what I am trying to say is that in the beginning of the year I felt kind of alone and separated but then I had lots of amazing people and events happen and life got shaken up and made everything so much happier. I know the salad dressing will separate but then I will mix again.

  • Dear Someone. This world is a messed up place sometimes, and if there is a little thing that I could do to help change that, that would be amazing. And now that Wingman was introduced to me I can’t wait to help. Even though what I might do is small, I still can’t wait to help. Thank you Ian for everything you taught us, it is greatly appreciated.

  • I feel like a better person than I was two days ago, and I’m so glad that I was part of Wingman. Wingman was the first program I’ve seen that teaches us all the things it has in a fun way. So many other programs I’ve tried to convey a similar message at school, but through lecture, making it practically useless. Wingman has actually been fun, hands on, and makes me want to continue, which is what makes it a movement, not a program!

  • For starters I’m very hungry, mostly because I never eat any breakfast but that’s OK. On a deeper level, I feel like a new person. Spending my time here for the past two days has been an amazing opportunity. Being here has told me that that is something I can do in the world that will make a difference. It may take some time, but I can’t wait for that day of my success to come. I am very grateful to all of my family and friends who have told me to be more involved in things. If it wasn’t for them, I would barely be able to keep myself healthy. I hope to continue my journey of being involved and try to make things better.

  • Right now I’m feeling ready. I feel ready to teach students in our school about the movement. I feel that the movement will certainly help students feel more connected to each other. The activities are fun so I know everyone will enjoy them. I also feel happy because Cranbury can spread this movement to other schools.

  • I’m feeling pretty good about Wingman. I think it will be helpful for the kids in Cranbury.

  • Wingman is a place where we can share our thoughts and opinions. We also learn about each other and build a special bond with each other. We build this bond by participating in fun activities, and we learn how to be the best version of ourselves.

Accord, NY. November 2019. Middle School

  • I feel like I have the true power to change the world.

  • It is amazing that this is a thing. We all started with having friend groups in Wingman and now we are all one group. I’m sad that training is over but happy to pass this on.

  • I feel educated.

  • I feel very excited right now to speak with kids younger than us.

  • Right now, after 2 days of training, I am feeling empowered and motivated and from these days I feel better than before. Thank you.

  • I feel happy that this is one of the most important 2 days of my life. Also I’m happy to teach future generations how to be.

  • These past 2 days have been exciting and inspiring and I can’t wait to teach the younger kids.

  • I feel happy and proud that I’m a Wingman.

  • I feel confident to be a better person.

  • I feel that right now everyone feels OK. We all have a purpose to be a Wingman.

  • I feel Good that I am here right now.

  • I feel happy but sad.

  • I’m feeling happy that I got to learn what life is about.

  • I feel happy to be here as a Wingman because I like being a role model, but I’m also upset because I like being here doing all of these things and being able to connect with people I have not known before.

  • Happy

  • I’m feeling happy and more alive these past two days because being in this Wingman movement shows me more of everyone and me. I feel truthful with everyone.

  • I felt some of the people I was working with were not listening to their ideas and taking a presentation as a joke. But I was happy and felt like I learned a lot in the end.

  • I feel really good, this helped me learn how to be a Wingman leader and just a better leader in general. I feel like a new and better person even though I couldn’t make it yesterday but overall I LOVE this program.

  • I feel very happy that I get to be part of such an amazing program. I also feel happy and excited.

  • These two days have taught me that it’s OK to be who you want to be.

  • Thankful, grateful and happy.

  • I don’t want Wingman training to end and I am excited to be given this opportunity.

  • I feel sad that this is over but I had a good time learning about other people and doing Wingman activities in a big or small group.

  • Joyful, emotional, thoughtful, calm.

  • I’m feeling happy that I was chosen to be a Wingman leader because I had a lot of fun learning to be a Wingman leader.

  • I feel like everyone’s my family and I think I trust everyone.

  • I feel happy and confident to stop bullying.

  • I feel really happy to be a part of the Wingman program.

South Bound Brook, NJ. October 2019. Middle School

  • Wingman can make such a difference. We need that in our world.

  • I am really excited to continue this program and to inspire young kids to be leaders and to always keep doing what they are doing.

  • I am feeling sad because training ended, but I am really excited to tell younger kids about the program. I think this program will do many great things to our school. It teaches us a lot about leaders and more.

  • I think that throughout this training I have learned that teamwork and support towards others will help us influence others to do the same and learn that life lesson.

  • I feel like the Wingman program can do a lot of things to other kids and change their point of view on different things.

  • This has got me excited to work with kids.

  • The most important thing is making everyone feel comfortable while having fun and learning.

  • At the end of these two training sessions I feel inspired and committed to making a positive difference in my school. Thank you!

  • What I learned is what being a Wingman can turn you into. Because right now I feel happy and proud that I have done this and learned what a Wingman is :o)

  • I hope that this program can change our school. Instead of having little friend groups I wish that everyone could be friends and include everyone in fun activities.

High Bridge NJ. September 2020. Middle and Elementary School (Joint Workshop)

  • I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, only what’s on the inside.

  • Wingman help me. I’m happy I’m a part of this (to) help others

  • One thing I have taken away from the Wingman program is to be patient and not always intervene as a facilitator when things go south.

  • From the 2 days of Wingman I have been at I am so lucky that I get to be one.

  • I think this program is a big success and will really help our school and community.

  • What I am taking away from this program is how important it is to check on someone. For instance, say a simple thing like “how is your day” or “did you do anything fun last night”.

  • I had an amazing 2 days and I can’t wait to continue being a Wingman Ambassador. I learned how to be a really good facilitator and think about how my jokes affect others.

  • I learned to work with kids older than me and kids I might not normally work with.

  • It was fun being with everybody.

  • I have had a great 2 days. I have felt that this experience has already helped me become better as a person, and I cannot wait to help students become more social and friendly.

  • That you can learn a lot about yourself and others, if you have the same amount of kindness.

  • We became better people.

  • Something this program has done for me is it taught me how to deal with certain arguments. It also made me a better person. This program is a family that always has my back and people I can talk to.

  • I learned how to talk louder in front of people and be confident and not care about what people say.

  • The future of me in Wingman and I’m feeling confident.

  • I have learned that when someone says something bad about me, I won’t be mean or rude back to them because two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • I learned that you cannot judge someone for what they look like on the outside, judge them on how they are on the inside.

  • Wingman made (me) think about bonding with other people.

  • I feel proud that I can be the difference I would like to see in High Bridge and the students here!

  • I had a great experience. I met some new people and made new friends. I have learned so much and I am thankful I joined this program.

  • I’ve learned how important kindness, respect and empathy are not only to others but yourself.

  • I’m going to miss this in High School. It’s been helpful and a lot of fun.

  • Happy because Wingman is awesome. Our Wings get stronger.

  • This made me realize how important it is to be kind and respectful to everyone. To make sure to always make an effort to be nice.

  • I’m excited to tell my mom about how good Wingman is.

  • I learned that I have a voice.

  • I have learned in Wingman how to be a better student.

  • I have learned how to be more trustworthy and help others.

  • The teamwork really worked out these days.

  • Something I feel like I achieved these 2 days is to be more courageous and to step up and take the lead. I’ve learned that it’s also OK to be different.

  • I learned much more about respect and honesty. One of the main words stressed throughout the program was integrity. This word will definitely reflect on me and the choices I make in the future.

Metuchen NJ. September 2019. Middle School

  • Helping the Helpless.

  • During this program, I became more of a leader. It showed me that I shouldn’t just sit back while other people take action, I want to be helping and becoming a leader.

  • To be a better person.

  • Spread Positivity.

  • That if you do a small act of kindness it can change a person’s day.

  • I learned about kindness, compassion and many other values. I have to try to help people and any person can actually make a difference.

  • Make a change.

  • To be thankful for everything you have.

  • To always listen to others, and try to help, and you need to always be kind.

  • Empathy. Respect. Kindness.

  • Always help others in any way you can. Have empathy for them. Be respectful and compassionate.

  • Empathy.

  • What it means to help others and how we can do that.

  • I have learned that people may put on a mask of happiness, but may need help and we should offer help to those people.

  • The Wingman training has brought me a special chance of learning that can help people.

  • I want to help everyone feel included.

  • To always help others.

  • Learn respect, kindness and friendship.

  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. Respect others. Empathy is important.

  • I hope that I look at both sides of a problem or situation before jumping into it. I just need to THINK.

  • This taught me how to make a difference. It taught me how to help people.

  • How my little everyday actions can have a big impact on people; be kind.

  • Acceptance. Kindness.

  • Understanding. Leadership.

  • Anyone can be a Wingman.

  • Cherish every day and feel lucky that you are who you are. Help others all that you can.

  • I am taking with me the importance of the feeling of inclusion and respect. Also this experience of being part of something much bigger than me, and facing issues bigger than all of us.

  • I’ve learned that patience and teamwork is really the key to success. When you include everyone you are more of a team. You are unified. Words and the way you say them really impact someone. By simply using any of the skills I learned in these past 2 days, I can make someone’s day. This program has had a great impact on me and I will take the knowledge I learned with me everywhere I go.

  • I can’t wait to help people. I can’t wait to be a leader and present this. And lastly, I can’t wait to teach all the qualities, and for them hopefully to be Wingman.

  • I am taking with me how much we have learned these past 2 days and how impactful the program is. If we walked in differently on the last day than the first day, imagine how much a year can make a difference.

  • I kinda want to play “I know a Wingman who”. Also I hope to teach the 5th and 6th graders the skills taught to me.

  • What I was thinking during Wingman was how it is so heartfelt and how we all learned to trust each other.

  • I’m excited to keep learning about the Wingman program, but I’m worried about presenting in front of other kids. Maybe we’ll mess up or maybe the kids won’t listen.

  • I feel that I can connect to people in a new way. I feel like I can inspire them and help them with their problems. This was a wonderful opportunity for a wonderful cause.

  • Whenever a friend feels left out, try to show empathy to them and include them.

  • I was recovering from a very stressful time before this started and this has helped me come out of that and feel happier and freer, like I used to.

  • I’ve learned more in the past two days about teamwork and communication than I’ve learned in my life.

  • Right now I feel very grateful for the lessons I have been taught in my Wingman training. I have learned a lot about my classmates.

  • This is such a good idea! I love the thought of it. I think it is an amazing idea!

  • Dang, everything here is so deep, I can’t comprehend. Thx for the good vibes.

  • I feel like I made a lot more friends. I don’t feel excluded. I feel better about myself.

  • I feel like this program is gonna have a great impact. I know it might be hard to be a Wingman but I will push through. This program is only the beginning.

  • Things I felt. I feel like a leader now. I feel more open. I am not as scared to talk. I am not as scared to lead. It was a great experience.

  • Be kind to everyone. Don’t judge a book by its cover, get to know the real them. Be inclusive and accepting. Always compliment people! Be respectful. Offer support. Be understanding.

  • After Wingman I feel that I have grown a better understanding for other people, and the struggles they go through. I have learned to have compassion for people I barely know. I additionally feel that a support system has been created not only for the school, but even for the Wingman leaders.

  • I am feeling very excited to be a Wingman. I also am very upset that the training is over. I am going to take away all of our conversations and all the games we played but are actually learning from.

  • During the group discussions, I noticed that I was unconsciously nodding my head with what everyone was saying. Even though we all act differently, I never realized how many common thoughts I share with my peers. I love this program.

  • I am really excited to get this started and to really get into it. I am really nervous that I am going to be too quiet but overall excited. I definitely feel like I have learned a lot and connected with everyone.

  • I’ve gotten to know people better over the past two days and I want to be more open to starting new friendships. Wingman makes me feel like I’m not as alone as I thought. Thank you so much for doing this program. You change lives.

  • Right now I feel really encouraged and happy because this program is something that will change the lives of many people. From this experience I am going to take away all that I learned and what decisions it has inspired me to make. This program will make me a better person.

Carteret NJ, August 2019. Middle School.

  • I can be myself

  • I’m excited to talk to all of the kids, for them to realize what respect is and to make them safer moving on in life.

  • To be the best I can be, be caring and supportive to others, and teach the younger kids what I’ve learned and the cycle continues.

  • I’m going to go home and tell my parents I had fun and that I am happy I joined this program. Also that I wish it was longer in the summer. And I’m glad I made it.

  • These past two days have helped me become more social and I’m excited for the impact I can have on other people’s lives.

  • What I’m going to take away is being more social, because there are so many people around you that have interesting things that you may not know about and it’s nice to meet new people, you can learn a lot.

  • In these two days, I've learned that everything can be fixed by positivity. I also know that responsibility and respect are very big things everyone wants or needs to have fun or to be positive. A Wingman will always help someone no matter the situation or problem.

  • I am taking away leadership skills and a whole lot of fun.

  • I want to show others they can do what they put their minds to. And that they will always have someone to talk to about anything.

  • My takeaway is that I’m going to be excited to be in Wingman for the rest of the year.

  • I’m excited about this program and I hope we get to change the school.

  • Making new bonds.

  • After these 2 days I feel more involved. Wingman is an amazing program that I hope will continue to grow.

  • These past two days have been a fun experience. I will take away all the positivity, empathy and friendship with me.

  • What has left a mark with me from these two days was the amount of friendship and laughter and trust and respect we had for one another.

  • From these 2 days I’ve learned team building exercises and how to be a good sport. I’ve learned how to be kind in different kinds of situations.

  • From these two days I’ll bring my thoughts back home and wait for school to start so then the Wingmen (sic) can matter when needed most.

  • I think I’ve become more respectful and I know how others would like to be treated.

  • From the two Wingman days I will take and continue to use the ability of confidence to bond with people I may not know.

  • I honestly feel like a better person in general.

Milford CT, August 2021. Middle School staff trained as Wingman Trainers.

  • I wish everyone can have the experience I've had over the last four days. I've laughed and been uncomfortable but honestly I had fun. It was a joy to get to know more about the others around me. I really just wish for this joy for the kids in Milford and hope this program will help make us all better humans.

  • I'm so inspired, proud, comforted and know how many staff members in this district are committed to fueling joy, inclusivity, and connectedness within our community.

  • I feel so grateful to be a part of this movement. There have been many programs implemented in my time here in Milford, most of which had great intentions but did not yield results. This is what our students and staff need. This will be truly a movement that has the power to create change.

  •  I am: Thankful for this opportunity. Excited. Closer to my colleagues. Have positive energy, love, and am looking forward to bringing this to our school.

  • I am focused.

  •  I'm so excited to finally have a way to engage the disengaged kids. The Wingman Movement is going to make a huge difference in engaging students in school again, especially after the last year.

  • I'm feeling super optimistic and excited in this program. I am hopeful that this will bring a positive change to myself and my school community.

  •  I am honored, grateful, positive, energized, and excited.

  •  My heart is full. This week has changed my mindset. All around us there is negativity but it is our job to find the positivity. I love how this week gave us a chance to pause, to make connections, to build each other up, and to laugh and learn. I want to pass this on and to spread kindness to be like a kid - no judgment, to find the good in everyone.

  • Together we've connected, collectively inspired, to share and spread a Movement of hope, kindness, and love.

  •  I can't wait to start school with the activities we've learned to share with the students. To also see the students lead these wonderful experiences with their peers so they can make the connections.

  • These past four days have been life changing!!! It  has renewed my love for spreading good, making true connections and being part of the change! I will forever look at butterflies in a whole new light.

 

Voorhees NJ, July 2021. High School Staff trained to lead Wingman activities

  • I was a little apprehensive coming in on the first day. I got to know everyone in the group, participated and interacted with each other. We started to bond and have fun with each other. Then we started to build better relationships within the group and open up more. I enjoyed the 4 days with the very diverse group and realize I will be able to do these activities with students to get them to open up with each other.

  •  The training exceeded my expectations, Rob was an amazing trainer who made it fun and engaging and thoughtful with purpose. The group grew together as one cohesive Group by the end, especially after hearing Ian and the movement behind wingman. I am hoping to bring Ian and Dylan's story to my mentors and help them grow their own “Mentor” wings. This will only support and help her initiative to thrive, supporting the Freshman as a transition into High School.

  •  I have gratitude for Robb and Ian for trying to make a difference even in a small way by using the movement to fit your own needs and seeing another way than the traditional.

  •  I'm excited to plan with students for this school year. Making this work and the movement being as impactful to the students as it was for me. I hope to relay the messages and meanings to my student leaders.

  •  Feeling very proud of the way my Eastern staff responded with enthusiasm to the challenges presented by the program. I'm excited about the way I can use Wingman to help our school and students become better people, ie, change the world!

  • I am grateful to have worked with a great group of people while all so different in many ways, we all have a common goal. I feel like I learned so much in the past few days and not only the Wingman activities but different ways to approach problems and reflecting on the activities.

  • I now have a greater / more clear vision of the purpose of this Movement and how I can implement it to make a positive change / impact on the future of students with even these small activities.

  • I feel good about myself and everyone in this group. I feel like we connected quickly and learn to respect each other.

  •  I love the Movement and how it can be adapted in so many ways. I'm excited to share activities with other educators and to spread positivity and connectedness. I'm looking forward to making the world better!

  •  I feel positive about this group and its diversity, empathy, and adaptability.

  •  I have learned a great deal about people in our school that I never spoke to you before.

  •  I believe in the importance of helping this Movement to spread.

Bloomfield, NJ. February 2020. Staff trained as Wingman Trainers

  • Absolutely LOVE the community of Teacher Champions that has been created. I feel a great amount of trust and comfort with all of them. Truly Team Effort.

  • This program has taught me so much about myself along with why others act the way they do. I’ve taken away how acts of kindness can put a smile on so many faces. Sometimes you don’t even realize when you need to smile when work and life get so busy! Dylan’s story is such an amazing way to understand that although tragedies can happen, there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. Ian and the rest of the Wingman Trainers have such a fun and special way of bringing happiness to others!

  • Wingman has brought a new feeling to our school and to me. The student leaders, my fellow Teacher Champions and myself are all proud to be a part of something that brings such positivity to our WHOLE school, and gets everyone involved. In new, fun ways we are teaching respect, kindness, empathy and support to all of our students K-6.

  • Have enjoyed seeing kids who typically do not talk to each other have a conversation.

  • If I could make this part of the district curriculum I would FIGHT for the job! This should be as important, if nor MORE important than LA, Math, Sci or SS. Watching the kids in training was amazing - they were engaged and excited from start to finish. You guys as our trainers made the program even more remarkable. THANK YOU Justin and Heather.

  • Love everything about this program and everything it stands for. Thank you so much for taking me under your ‘wing’.

  • I think that throughout all of the training I’ve had for Wingman, with every session, I have gained a deeper understanding and respect for the need to teach and promote social & emotional learning to the children of today. I wish they had this when I was a kid :-(

  • Wingman is a program I have grown extremely passionate about. The lessons I’ve learned and this experience is something I’ll cherish throughout my teaching career. I am grateful for this opportunity and excited and honored to be a part of it. I hope I can help children grow and feel confident in themselves. Thank you for helping us make a change.

  • I love that we are teaching and empowering kids to treat everyone equally and to be genuinely thoughtful and kind.

  • Wingman has been and will continue to be such a positive experience to me. From being selected as a Teacher Champion to turn-keying the program to students, it has truly been amazing. This is a great way to spread kindness, promote inclusivity and potentially change the future.

  • I truly am honored to be a part of this amazing program. We are at the ground floor for rebuilding a culture of kindness. This one's for you Dylan! (picture of butterfly)

  • I love seeing the excitement and collaboration of our Wingman Trainers, they applied not knowing much about the program and worked hard throughout their training. The support of the staff and younger grades has made a big impact on the success of the program so far. It’s heartwarming to see high-fives in the hallway and older students working with the younger ones.

  • An amazing experience that can help children from all different backgrounds and situations.

  • Activities are fun, engaging and interactive with meaning for students. Few programs are able to be so interactive and fun with a huge takeaway at the end.

  • So far, this has been an amazing experience and it’s only going to get better. I’m looking forward to and excited about the future. In the long term we will be teaching our students the importance of acceptance and tolerance - they will learn what it means to be kind and empathetic towards one another. All going things and examples of what we need more of in this world!

  • The Wingman program is humbling and inspiring. To see the strength of someone turn a terrible tragedy into such a positive program that is reaching the masses is a reminder to never give up and persevere through anything life throws our way. To see how just our first group and training affected the emotions and expectations we have of our students is another testament to the effect of this program. It is an honor to be a part of something so awe inspiring as Wingman.

  • Takeaways; Momentum to keep it going, reinforced today by seeing my fellow Champions. If it’s working this well with fellow champions, then my principal nailed it by choosing us. Bloomfield is committed to something I feel is so important.

  • I’m proud to be a positive part of their school experience. I feel it will change lives.

  • Everyone has had many inputs going into Wingman. What we all seem to agree on is the output on TIME. However, collaborating with our Wingman Leaders, I think we can iron out some kinks and smoothly have Wingman be a success!

  • Inspired. Motivated. Excited. Prepared. Ready.

  • Together we can do great things, it takes just 1 of us to get it going.

  • The Wingman program is awesome. I have seen the program influence our students in such a positive way. They are forming connections with each other. They are also being kind and empathetic towards one another.

  • Wingman serves on so many levels; Student leaders who wander out of their comfort zone. Teachers who for the first time (for some) have to wander out of the academic realm. Administrators who have to give time to something NOT related to test scores. Young students who take a chance opening up to “big kids”. Commonalities for all - getting out of a comfort zone and risk-taking, sharing and maybe for the first time, discovering and communicating feelings <3

  • A program to help children of all ages and backgrounds get along, make new friends, and become kinder human beings.

Bridgeport, CT. February 2020. After School program staff trained as Wingman Trainers

 

  • You can step out and spread your Wings! There’s no wrong way in verbalizing or expressing yourself. You are not alone and that you have similar ways as others.

  • Team Building. Educational. Fun. Positive Interactions. Powerful Thinking. Creative Thinking. Facing Fears. Empathy. Commitment. Reliability. Trust Building.

  • Wingman is a team oriented program that forces people from diverse backgrounds to get to know one another and allows everyone an opportunity to participate. Even if you aren’t the most outspoken person there is a role for you in this program.

  • Never judge a book by its cover. Be open to change. Take risks. Be a leader and don’t be afraid of helping others. Wingman helps bring unity, respect, teamwork and strength amongst a group of people regardless of where a person is from. Wingman teaches you to be patient and helps evolve you into a leader. It helps you look beyond someone's outer and encourage you to really understand a person.

  • Activities are engaging, fun and lend themselves to starting those conversations about compassion, leadership, kindness and being a better Wingman to those around us.

  • Interpersonal/social awareness. Self reflective. Look beyond the activity to the inner meaning (metaphor for life). Things are always more than they appear on the surface. Goal is progress/growth regardless of size. Humanization - we are all connected and need each other.

  • Everyone needs a Wingman. Always be open to change. Never stop learning. It’s OK to let your hair down and be vulnerable. Empathy opens the door to unlimited possibilities. Faith trumps fear. Get out of your comfort zone, no matter how comfortable it is.

  • Dylan’s Wings of Change presents us with an opportunity to shape our future leaders. How we choose to do that is up to us.

  • Wingman is a way to encourage kids to look out for each other. It is a way to help make kids who need a little extra comfort to feel more at ease. When I first met Ian I was shocked at how strong he is. The fact that this man could take a tragedy like he went through and create something so beautiful is amazing. Kids learn best from their peers. I love that Wingman allows the adults to teach the kids and then we “set them free” to move forward and teach their peers. The interaction is amazing. Bringing a program like this to the inner city is amazing! We need something that will give our kids a little push.

  • A reminder how important it is to be kind and empathetic to others, that greater empathy leads to helping behavior.

  • Wingman has shown me the importance of shaping how we are to express ourselves, see others and even motivate. Wingman teaches strong and positive values that show love, patience and communication. I can’t wait to teach my children at home, at church and at school. Thank you!

  • Always try. Encourage risk taking. Don’t assume. Be vulnerable. Plan but be flexible.

  • The Wingman experience has been a positive one. We sometimes forget even as educators to stop and reflect on our students' behaviors. We can be sometimes tough and want a quick fix to stop unwanted behaviors, often punishment/idle threats (no recess etc.) but what they need most is to be heard, to be validated and at a pace that works for them. Giving them the chance to participate - challenge by choice - is a great way to let them decide when it’s safe for them to open up, to join in and hopefully have fun. A little kindness - the butterfly effect - can and will work. I’m excited to begin the process and let it take us where we need to go (or fly!)

  • When I entered the group I had no background or explanation of what I was going into - someone couldn’t make it and I was asked to step in. Didn’t know what Wingman was, the purpose or how it might fit. As I reflect and explain to others where I am, I talk about how lucky I am. I have met inspiring people, who have some common things with me and many differences. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to make a change, an impact, and can be a part of this amazing butterfly effect. A tragedy can turn into something SO impactful and positive. I am energized and excited to go forward on this journey. Thanks to all and hope we meet again.

Other Comments from staff; feedback surveys or unsolicited in other communications

 

August 2019

“It was a truly remarkable experience.  As an educator in my 14th year, I have attended various trainings and workshops in my life.  This was honestly the most beautiful, engaging and inspiring one (both days!) of my life. I will truly never forget this.” - Staff Champion, Carteret NJ

 

September 2019

There is a look on the faces of the students who come to see me at the end of a Wingman day. I have not yet been able to verbalize what it is any better than to say there is an intensity about them--a heightened state of...I don't know quite what. Responsibility and trepidation are mixed in there somewhere. I imagine you have seen it over and over again. For now I will just say this must be what it means to have been "woke". So, thank you for the gift of change. - Staff Champion, Metuchen NJ

 

September 2019

Today we had our "kick off" which is a huge, school-wide assembly.  We walked to the high school football field. Teachers rap about school climate.  We have dance competitions and relays.  We do battle of the classes and color wars. I have been doing this for 10 years.  This year, as you know, was the first year that we introduced the Wingman program.  Our Wingmen had parts in the kick off, saying things on the microphone, getting the crowd going, etc.

 

The very special thing that happened here was that there were soooo many butterflies!  When the Wingmen were introduced, about 8 appeared directly behind them, seemingly out of nowhere. Note, we NEVER have ANY butterflies on this field.  EVER. During the entire hour presentation, several also flew the length of the bleachers, almost waving to the crowd.

 

I believe in signs and I simply could not wait to tell you about this.  I would like to think Dylan was sprinkling a little love over all of us. - Staff Champion, Carteret NJ

 

October 2019

We had a parent reception last evening (our biggest fundraiser of the year), and many parents who have children in Wingman told me how excited their sons or daughters are.  - Principal, Elementary School, Princeton NJ

October 2019

Your story, coupled with the Wingman program, has a profound impact upon everyone who cares about children. Moreover, the program provides an incredible way to positively change the culture and climate of our schools.....enabling every child to feel valued. You helped make Workshop an experience that will never be forgotten by those who attended. - Executive Director, NJSBA

 

October 2019

As an educator who has included SEL as a priority since my very first day in the classroom nearly 45 years ago, I appreciate your work immensely. I also appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with you as you provide an extraordinary opportunity to create safe spaces in schools for all children. The simplicity of having a “wingman” is not only its beauty, it also is a natural extension of human behavior. - Director, NJSBA

 

December 2019

Thanks to Wingman, the group of 4th graders that I currently have as my Wingman Ambassadors won my heart during our training. They are examples of young kids who truly have the insight and heart to care for others, who are eager to help and talk to all students and even adults, and to model that they are a generation that have the power to create a beautiful future for them and all of us. Thanks to the Wingman program, we were able to see this change. - Staff Champion, Edison Township Elementary School

 

December 2019

As the principal of a Wingman school, I get to see first hand the positive impact the program is having in our building and I thank you for everything you have done to make this a better school for ALL our students by spreading the message of inclusion and love. - Principal, Edison Township Elementary School

 

January 2020

In my 29 years of education, I have never seen a school community so moved by a presenter.  Your story, and ability to create something so positive out of such a tragic event is extremely moving to each of us.  The reactions and feedback from students, staff and parents who heard you is still resonating.

District Administrator - Howell, NJ

 

Corporate Workshop. Double Good, IL

  • I feel refreshed and optimistic. I have a ton of gratitude for being able to dedicate the time and space for this day. Thank you for giving us this space to play and bond.
     

  • I feel a deeper connection to my team.
     

  • How do I feel? More open. Reminded of the goodness of my team, and Humanity. Not alone figuring out the road ahead.
     

  • I look forward to sharing your message and implementing what we learned today with my community. This makes me very excited about the opportunity for Wingman to make an impact in the All-Star world and within my markets, and (unselfishly) with my daughter who will be an advocate in the future. This was fun and meaningful.
     

  • I feel like I know the humans who make up my team, rather than “the team” being the primary relationship.
     

  • You made me feel a glimmer of hope for Humanity, a feeling I haven't had in some time.
     

  • I am feeling grateful to have employment and to be blessed to be a member of the team. I feel I am at a place where my gifts and talents will be utilized to help drive growth for the company and to help impact our partners.
     

  • I'm feeling at peace and fulfilled. I feel it will be easier to be open and share with my teammates. I hope to spend more time thinking about my butterfly effect.