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One Love Foundation: Inspire, Empower, Educate

Sarah O'Neill
On October 26, Tilton School had the honor of welcoming Whitaker (Whit) Willocks, Head Girls’ Lacrosse coach at Kimball Union Academy and representative of the One Love Foundation. Whit played college lacrosse for the University of Virginia, where she was teammates with the
late Yeardley Love. Yeardley tragically passed away in 2010, a victim of domestic violence at the hand of her ex-boyfriend, a UVA Mens’ Lacrosse player.
Since Yeardley’s death, her family has started the One Love Foundation with the mission of spreading awareness about relationship abuse. From the One Love website:  Relationship abuse is a public health epidemic and young women in Yeardley’s age group (college-age) are at a 3X greater risk for being in an abusive relationship than any other demographic.”

The One Love Foundation travels to schools and communities around the country educating students about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. They offer an Escalation Workshop and guides on how to help a friend in an abusive relationship. They also
present resources for those in unhealthy relationships to seek help. During her talk, Whit shared her experience as a teammate of Yeardley’s and discussed the importance of healthy relationships. Whit’s primary goal in life and through her talks is to inspire, empower and educate. Inspire
young individuals by sharing her story and her teams’ story in hopes that some part of it touches those listening and they can gain a new outlook on their relationships. Empower young individuals with information and knowledge so they can gain the power to stand up to a friend
and most importantly stand up for themselves. And to Educate people. The One Love Foundation is helping people take action, and through their work, we can make a change.

Whit promotes the One Love Foundation to educate adolescents on the warning signs of unhealthy relationships. She wants young people to recognize when something is not right, and that even though the abuser may seem like a nice person, or is well-liked, they can still cause
immense harm. She stressed that it may be difficult to confront the victim about an unhealthy relationship and they may react negatively but you must keep asking if they’re ok. Keep checking in on them and ask an adult for help. It may save their life.

The mission of the One Love Foundation is one that Tilton School fully supports. At Tilton School, the health and safety of students is number one priority. This includes promoting healthy relationships and educating students on what that entails. There are several services in
place to support the health and well-being of our students. The school employs a full-time counselor, Ms. Angela Juurlink, who is a licensed clinical mental health counselor. Angela is on campus five days a week as well as by appointment and is also available for more urgent
situations. She also supervises the Peer Counselor group. This group is nominated by their peers based on each individual's ability to be non-judgmental and supportive to all other students.

For more information on the One Love Foundation, visit http://www.joinonelove.org.
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