Fire Chief John Cunningham

“What I experienced next forever changed me. As we walked away from Ground Zero, New York was silent. If you have ever visited the City, you will know that it is anything far from quiet. This event, at least for a little bit, changed that. Walking away from Ground Zero was surreal. We soon realized that we are returning to civilian life again-however changed it now was. 

As we rounded the corner and exited the restricted zone, thousands of people lined the street. It was incredibly quiet. As we tiredly and slowly walked forward the crowd became alive. People were clapping, yelling and waving flags and signs. The two of us continued our walk without a word spoken, realizing that the thousands of people gathered were here to show their support and unity to everyone that was working at the site- us included.

As we continued forward, a young girl broke from the crowd and ran forward. She hugged both of us and handed both of us each a Blue Ribbon. On the ribbon was inscribed, ‘Who I Am Makes A Difference’. These are words we live by to this day.”




Jack Canfield, 2015 SUCCESS magazine named him “One of the Most Influential Leaders in Personal Growth and Achievement.” He is the beloved originator of the New York Times best-selling “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series.


“Helice ‘Sparky’ Bridges, Founder of Blue Ribbons Worldwide, follows in the shoes of great leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Her powerful ‘Who I Am Makes A Difference’ Blue Ribbon System gives children and adults of all ages the long overdue right to be appreciated, respected, loved and nurtured by the society in which they live.”


Spencer Johnson, M.D. – New York Times Best-Selling Author - “Who Moved My Cheese”, co-author “The One Minute Manager”


“Blue Ribbons Worldwide has created a necessary tool to bring about great change in today’s society.”




Steve Ahle, Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Year for the State of California

“The Blue Ribbon Community Building Program should be used by all educators in their efforts to ready students for a life in society. It gives kids pride, purpose and the ability to overrun negativism and transform the world.”


Shelly Peterson, Principal Crestview Elementary

"This program is giving kids a way to create a community built on appreciation, peace, creativity, respect and love. This program saves kids’ lives. It’s helping to make our dreams come true. It helps parents realize they are important. It reminds teachers that they make a difference. Kids teaching kids worked brilliantly. Our 5 -6 graders taught this program to the younger students. Because of this success, hundreds of parents showed up for the family evening.”


Janet M. Whiddon, Principal Washington Middle School Vista Unified School District

"Our students and staff worked seamlessly to effectively implement the ‘Blue Ribbon Community Building’ program. The Blue Ribbon exercise gave our students a powerful education and hands-on opportunities to tell others how much they were appreciated, respected and loved. Over nine hundred students wrote essays reflecting on their experiences. After reading these essays, I knew this endeavor made a profound difference for our students and community. We have adopted this program for our entire school year and on to the next.”



Josh – 8th grade student

“I was the biggest bully in my school, homeless, a straight F student and dumpster diving to find food for me and my drug addicted mom who lived in a tent under a freeway. After the Blue Ribbon Week at my school, I was able to apologize to everyone I hurt and stop bullying. My principal was so impressed she nominated me for the “San Diego Unified School District Above and Beyond” Award. I was one of five kids in the entire school district who received that award. I want every kid to know that they deserve to feel appreciated and loved.”


Sandra–5th grader

“Helice Sparky is an awesome person. Her program has saved people’s lives. I’d like every person I know to experience it. It’s TOTALLY LIFE CHANGING. I love it and the person that teaches it.”

Rochelle– 8th grader - middle school student - cheerleader

“I’ve seen a lot of programs in school and this one hit me the hardest in ways that ALL kids have to feel this amazing program. It’s a way for kids and adults to connect. It gives kids a voice and shows them that they aren’t alone. It gives us a chance to trust one another. It helped save my best friend’s life.”

Chris – 7th grade student

“Hurt is where abuse starts. Nothing bad comes from saying good things about each other. This program helps kids teach kids how to be nice to each other. Kids teaching kids is a really great idea.”


November – 11th grade

“After our Standing Strong Together training in our high school, it gave us perceptive as to how both youth and adults can work together. Kids are living in today’s world and adults don’t know what we have to go through. Adults in the training helped us out because they have a vision, education and qualifications that we don’t have. We discovered the way each person thought and experienced how to help make each other’s dreams come true. The program was so successful that we started a Blue Ribbon Club on campus. Lots of kids got involved and we produced 10 service learning projects to help the kids and people in our community realize how valuable they were.”



Martha - Mom

“This program lets our kids know they matter. It saves lives. It’s definitely different! As a mom, this program has given my children the opportunity to experience, as well as be catalysts to change other kids’ lives. They are having FUN changing their world!”


David – Dad

“This program was like lightning in a bottle. Throughout the years, I’ve taken every type of military and corporate training but nothing has compared to the “Standing Strong Together” leadership system. It gave me the tools to be a better listener with my wife and children, and now they’re happier. As a Certified Trainer, I was able to teach this system at Boeing Aircraft with huge success.”


Carol Barry, Area 1 Superintendent San Diego Unified School District

"Initially I thought that this program would not work. I could not have been more wrong. The Blue Ribbon program created a powerful and positive environment for students, teachers, parents and the entire community."


Dr. Dave Cowles, Superintendent Vista Unified School Board

"The Vista Unified School District Board of Trustees and Administrators, seeing the powerful impact the Blue Ribbon Community Building program has had on our children and community, unanimously supports this program for every school in our district."






Sarah Sheppard, Teacher of the Year – Pacific Beach Middle School

“I’ve seen a lot of programs over the years, but I’ve never seen this much emotion among kids, in such a short time. The students were deeply touched and knew that they had a chance to eradicate bullying in their school.”


Luis Lopez, Teacher of the Year - Eastlake High School

“In 2013/14, my students attended the Standing Strong Together Blue Ribbon Community Leadership Course. In less than a minute, campus bullying ended, teen suicides were averted and self-esteem dramatically increased. This system has given me the tools and training to help make all my students' dreams come true. It is my dream that this program will be taught in every school in our District, State of California, US and world.”


Nancy Blackwell, Teacher of the Year – Escondido Union High School

“We talk about academic superstars and academic dropouts, but we’ve forgotten about the human being. Acknowledging kids is huge! I use the Standing Strong Together Blue Ribbon Community System and endorse it for every school in our nation.”




Paulette Diaz, Counselor – Pacific Beach Middle School

“Blue Ribbon Week supports our prevention efforts and is part of our comprehensive guidance program. The components of the Blue Ribbon Program touch on the personal/social, academic and career domains of the National Standards for School Counseling.”


Stefan Longo – Drug and Alcohol Counselor – Founder Youth2Leaders

”I’ve been a counselor for over 30 years. I believe in education. I have my Master of Science Degree in Counseling. Yet I still did not feel as though I made a difference until I graduated from the Blue Ribbon ‘Standing Strong Together’ Leadership Training. The wisdom I experienced in this training taught me how to ‘‘walk the Blue Ribbon Talk’ by honoring people with “Who I Am Makes A Difference”® Blue Ribbons. I now take more risks and make a bigger difference. I now know that, together, we will honor 1 billion people by the year 2020 so that everyone will go from education to wisdom, knowing where there is love, dreams really do come true.”


L. Simone Adderley-Paul - Counsellor, Student Activities Coordinator – Bahama Islands


“Nothing could have prepared me for the love and unity I experienced when I received my first “Who I Am Makes A Difference”® Blue Ribbon. If we take a moment to view everything through the lenses of love, we will see that humanity, in its varied apparent complex adversities, in its simplest form, yearns to be positively acknowledged. The “Who I Am Makes A Difference”® Blue Ribbon system is the solution. This tool helps people to see that all the perceived barriers of race, religion, gender, age etc. can be dissipated and dissolved with this simple act of love.”




Susie Fields, Winner San Diego Women Who Mean Business Award

“The ‘Standing Strong Together Blue Ribbon System is a powerful training which has contributed to employee retention and recruitment as well as increasing our sales by as much as $240,000 with one account! We got powerful leadership skills that cause results!”


Stephanie Mayberry, Public Relations – Wal-Mart – Indiana

“The Who I Am Makes A Difference Blue Ribbon Community Building Leadership System helped the children in our community turn the tide away from violent and disrespectful acts replacing them with acknowledgment, understanding and inspiration. We shared the news about the benefits of 'Who I Am Makes A Difference' Acknowledgment via Radio Wal-Mart, reaching an estimated 2,000 stores affecting the lives of over 250,000 employees and customers.”



Bill Fleishaaur, Vietnam Vet

"This program brought me to tears. I saw it give kids and adults hands-on tools to bring peace to the world."


Colonel Jonathan Braga – Garrison Commander – National Training Center - U.S. Army

“Helice ‘Sparky’ Bridges’ powerful keynote and acknowledgment process at our US Army Women’s Equality Day made us laugh out loud and equally brought tears to our eyes. In less than a minute, her Blue Ribbon Ceremony deeply helped heal our relationship to ourselves, our fellow soldiers and families. We are honored to have her as a keynote speaker at the 50 th Anniversary of the Vietnam War so that all our soldiers have the profound opportunity to honor our Vietnam Vets.”




Mother's Love



Honoring those I Love