“Snacks, Marian. ALL of the snacks.” -Rhonda Brunson 

More valid words have not been spoken; those teens can EAT. Speaking of correct words, many have heard the quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi – Be the change you wish to see in the world. This is a beautiful sentiment but inaccurate. However, it got me thinking after spending the day observing these fantastic and brave Teen Ambassadors who volunteered a large amount of time to the Choose Courage Foundation. These teenagers ARE the change. The actual quote reflects the precipice of change the adults are nearing; watching these amazing youthful creatures affect lasting change that is creating a world that defies imagination:

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do. -Mahatma Gandhi

The adults volunteering at the event, which included the CCF board members, survivors, parents, photographers and others, had the honor of witnessing a beautiful group of Teen Ambassadors, who were strangers, come together and speak their truth. How humbling it was to experience an inherent nature in teenagers that embody the core of the mission of the 2022 Teen Takeover Campaign


This was not only a powerful day; it was a groundbreaking day. The gift this group of brave young women and men will give the world will provide education and prevent teen dating violence. It will also change the course of history by further putting into motion the Choose Courage Foundation’s Mission: BREAKING THE SHAME, STIGMA, AND SILENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

It was an honor to witness  these initially reserved (being photographed makes one nervous!) teenagers emerge into their authentic selves while being photographed and capture CCF’s motto: We believe that beauty has the power to inspire change. 

FEBRUARY 2022: The Choose Courage Foundation Teen Takeover will run a 28-day social media campaign in February 2022 (Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month). We will be reaching out to teens daily with videos, posts, and activities to help them know and recognize the #redflags of dating relationships.


National Domestic Violence Hotline:

1-800-787-3224 (TTY) | 1-800-799-7233


info@choosecourage.org or call 817-680-5044

About me, Marian: Survivor, #boymom to 4, proud aunt to 4, writer, reader, honored to be a part of the Choose Courage Foundation, AND proud aunt to one of the Teen Ambassadors.