Imagine Prep at Surprise: Only School in AZ Recognized for the Tolerance and Diversity Program

"Surprise, Arizona— Imagine Prep at Surprise was designated a Model 'Mix It Up Day' school by the Southern Poverty Law Center for efforts to foster respect and understanding among its students and throughout its campus during the 2010-11 school year.  Imagine Prep at Surprise was specifically recognized for creating a daylong program that challenged students to step out of their comfort zone and to connect with students who they might not normally through video presentations, student mixer activities, discussion groups, and two guest speakers. Imagine Prep at Surprise is one of 52 schools from across the country to receive the honor and the only school in Arizona. 'We are delighted to recognize Imagine Prep Surprise,' said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. 'Mix It Up Model Schools have found innovative ways to create a school environment where respect and inclusiveness are core values. They serve as examples for other schools hoping to instill these values in their students, faculty and staff.' Imagine Prep at Surprise’s Mix It Up Day activities were organized by Imagine Prep’s Hometeam, a student leadership organization, with the guidance of now, Imagine Prep at Surprise Principal Chris McComb.  The students were responsible for surveying their classmates to create an agenda that was relevant to their campus.  Based on the information, the students then worked to create activities and discussions that would not only allow students to discuss the importance of tolerance but to interact with classmates who they might not normally. 'Mix It Up Day' raised awareness campus wide about the value of tolerance and diversity,” explained Cameron Anderson, student at Imagine Prep and Peer Mediation Task Force Leader. 'After we held 'Mix It Up Day' our entire community was more aware of the impact and consequences of our actions and therefore were much more considerate.' 'Bystanders have the most power when it comes to bullying.  You have a responsibility to your classmates to help out when you see bullying happening to them,' explained Mark Trombino, a corporate speaker from Motivational Small Talk who was very honored to participate in Imagine Prep at Surprise’s Mix It Up Day activities. Imagine Prep plans to participate in the 2011 National Mix It Up Day which marks the 10th anniversary of the program and will be held on October 18, 2011.  The event will once again be student driven and will allow students the opportunity to create a program that addresses the issues of tolerance and diversity most relevant to the current student body. The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., is a nonprofit civil rights organization that combats bigotry and discrimination through litigation, education and advocacy. Imagine Prep is a tuition-free college prep school that uses professional technology and real world learning experiences to prepare students in grades 7-12 for college, career, and life. For more information about Imagine Prep at Surprise visit http://www.surpriseprep.com."