WHEELING – A Wheeling law firm again is ready to award $7,500 to Wheeling area high school seniors who stand up for others.
The Bordas & Bordas “Fighting for Justice” Award will honor a senior student from 15 high schools in Ohio Marshall in West Virginia as well as Belmont County, Ohio. Each student, deemed as an “Anti-Bully Ambassador,” will receive $500.
Jim Bordas, founding partner of the firm, said the goal is to honor those who go above and beyond by defending others who may be targeted for their differences and recognize those students who lead by example
“We want to recognize students who do the right thing even when it is difficult and sometimes unpopular,” Bordas said. “That includes treating everyone as equals, respecting differences in others, and standing up for individuals who are discriminated against.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines bullying as “intentionally aggressive, usually repeated verbal, social or physical behavior aimed at a specific person or group of people.” The DHHS indicates that in the United States, 1 in 3 students say they have been bullied at school.
According to 2014 UCLA Study, 20 percent of American students in grades 9-12 reportedly have experienced bullying or are feeling bullied. Moreover, nearly 70.6 percent of teens have witnessed a bullying crime take place while at school and 30% admit to bullying themselves. And only 20-30 percent of students who are bullied tell adults or authorities.
Jamie Bordas, managing partner of the firm, said that he hopes the award will motivate both the recipient and his or her peers to continue to stand up for others.
“At Bordas & Bordas, we fight for justice every day for our clients,” he said. “We want to recognize and support those young people who do the same in their schools and communities.”
Jim Bordas emphasized that this award is not simply for the elite scholar or athlete.
“There are many awards for students who excel in academics and athletics but none except ours for students who excel in kindness and courage," he said. "We at Bordas & Bordas are excited about recognizing those kids."
Teachers, peers, coaches or community members may submit nominations. Nomination forms have been supplied to each high school in the three participating counties. Community members may nominate a student by downloading the form at www.bordaslaw.com.