By Marina Renton        

The Stand Up Club of AHS promotes six key words: acceptance, bravery, individuality, diversity, equality, and self-love. The Stand Up Club’s primary goal is youth empowerment. According to its mission statement, “Our world needs to learn to appreciate the little things that make us unique…[and to] stand up for what we believe in and stick together to protect and preserve that uniqueness.”

The club was dreamed up in January 2012 by junior Sean Sullivan with the support of advisor Mrs. Thompson. The first meeting took place at the end of March.

“It turned into an idea from a project,” said Sullivan, adding that he began to plan a club because the message was a good one.

The mission statement also encourages club members to “stand up for what [they] believe in, stand up for what is right and what will make our world a more beautiful place to live in…. [The club’s] goals are to bring people together through anti-judgment, anti-bullying and completely destroying the word hate.”

Representatives of the club set up at Clown Town in May in order to raise awareness. They had a sheet on which visitors could sign their names in order to indicate that they supported the club’s message. People signed up from a number of local towns, including Andover, North Andover, Tewksbury, and Lowell, as well as from places further afield, such as New Hampshire and even Denmark!

“[Stand Up Club is] about being proud of who you are and who you were born to be,” Sullivan concluded. “Within these six words, we can make a stronger community.”