"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."
Carol Barry, Area 1 Superintendent San Diego Unified Schoo
"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."
Dr. Dave Cowles, Superintendent Vista Unified School Board
“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.”
Steve Ahle, Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Yea
"This program is giving kids a way to create a community built on appreciation, peace, creativity, respect and love. This program saves kids’ lives. Its helping us 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 5th& 6th graders taught this program to the younger students. Because of this success, hundreds of parents showed up for the family evening.”
Shelly Peterson, Principal Crestview Elementary
"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.”
Janet M. Whiddon, Principal Washington Middle School Vista Unif
“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.”
Sarah Sheppard, Teacher of the Year – Pacific Beach Middle Sc
“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.”
Luis Lopez, Teacher of the Year - Eastlake 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.”
Nancy Blackwell, Teacher of the Year – Escondido Union High Sc
“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.”
Paulette Diaz, Counselor – Pacific Beach Middle School
“Helice Bridges has created a necessary vehicle to bring about great change in today’s society.”
Spencer Johnson, M.D.,, New York Times Best-Selling Co-author - The N
“Helice ‘Sparky’ Bridges 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, loved and nurtured by the society in which they live.”
Jack Canfield, co-author Chicken Soup for the Soul book seri
“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.”
Stephanie Mayberry, Public Relations – Wal-Mart – Indiana
“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!”
Susie Fields, Winner San Diego Women Who Mean Business Awar
“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. What I experienced next forever changed me.

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.”
Fire Chief John Cunningham & Fire Fighter Dom
"This program brought me to tears. I saw it give kids and adults hands-on tools to bring peace to the world."
Bill Fleishaaur, Vietnam Vet
“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.
Colonel Jonathan Braga , Garrison Commander – National Training Center
“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.”
Sandra, elementary
“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.”
Rochelle, middle school cheerleader
“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.”
Chris, middle school
“I was the biggest bully in my school, a straight F student, living in a small trailer with my drug addicted mom. After the Standing Strong Together program, I was able to apologize to everyone I hurt, which changed the way kids at my school treated each other. One month later I won the “San Diego Unified School District Above and Beyond” Award. I’m in high school now and a spokesperson for the WHO I AM MAKES A DIFFERENCE program. I want every kid to know that they deserve to feel appreciated and loved.”
Josh, high school
Standing Strong Together 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 to help make each other’s dreams come true.”
November, high school
“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!”
Martha , Mom
“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.”
David, Dad
Blue Ribbons on visors, dashboards, mirrors, everywhere!
"I used to own a valet service, and when I would be out parking cars I would see "Who I Am Makes A Difference" Blue Ribbons stuck on dash boards, radios, windows and visors. I'd wonder...where do these ribbons come from and what do they mean? Then one day I received this Blue Ribbon from a friend. She honored me in a way that was different than anything I had ever experienced--I felt so valued. I purchased enough Blue Ribbons so that all the kids in my children's elementary school would feel valued too---and they did!
Robert MacPhee, Founder and President of Heart Set, Inc.
The greatest compliment a person had ever given me
"I had never seen a look on my dad's face like I saw that night. He looked at me, placed the blue ribbon on my chest and said, 'Victor, you make a difference, not just to me but every person you come across day to day.' That was one of the greatest compliments a person had ever given me--I felt reborn. It filled my heart and body with joy. The blue ribbon is still stuck to my shelf in my bedroom where I can see it every morning when I wake up. It reminds me of the power one person can make in their own special way. "
Victor Castillo, college student
The Blue Ribbon Ceremony helped save my students lives
"The impact that I saw from my students as a result of using the Blue Ribbon Ceremony was simply overwhelming. I've seen this ceremony help kids avoid the pitfalls of youth; peer issues, stress, learning how to set reasonable goals and how to handle disappointment are some of their challenges. I have had graduating students return and tell me how this process has helped save their lives and that is not something you hear every day. My dream to ensure that every student in my county gets the message, so they know Who They Are Makes A Difference."
Dana Jones, Social Science Teacher, Windsor Oaks Academy,
“We all came here from different backgrounds, religions, races, and wealth, but we slowly realized that we all have a simple goal, to be loved. I never would have thought something as significant as a ribbon would change a life and make an impact…I’ve grown as a person so much that I’m baffled. I feel that my dreams can come true…I now know who I am does make a difference to all those around me, whether its my bubbly personality or my humor, I will continue to accept everybody and not hate any longer."?
Oscar, 17 year-old Graduate of our “Standing Strong
“I believe that this program brings people hope - precious hope - in a society where we desperately need it. I have been spreading blue ribbons around northern California like a madman...I have the intention of passing out at least three blue ribbons a day. I can't wait to wake up in the morning now and see what a wonderful person I will give the gift of encouragement to! Maybe I don't reach a million people with this gift, but it is my hope that one of those that I reach will."?
Matt Manly , Middle School Teacher and Graduate of our “St
“As a result of the world being harsh, adolescents have no choice but to be guarded and try to survive. This program gives kids a chance to become vulnerable and not feel judged. It gives us the power to make a difference and change the world."?
Evelyn , 16 year-old Graduate of our “Standing Strong
“They said that I didn’t matter, I was just a kid, worthless, unvalued and unappreciated. My parents told me that I was nothing and that I would never be successful. My soccer coach told me I was a failure and to give up. I wanted to commit suicide until one day I got involved in my high school’s Paint Our Town Blue campaign and it changed my life. I applied to The College of Notre Dame and was accepted because of the work I did with this program."?
Kristy, 18 years old – The College of Notre Dame
“I could not have imagined the amazing experience that you have given me. The past few days felt like I have been on cloud 9, in other words, heavenly, wonderful, educational...my dreams will absolutely come true...I hope to stay in touch with them and always inspire them to go for their dreams!"?
Gemini , 15 year old Graduate of the Standing Strong T
“This program was amazing! I've learned so much the past two and half days...Blue Ribbons Worldwide has rubbed off on me. I learned that to get positive out you gotta put positive in. To be able to grow and learn with all of my amazing peers was such a special priviledge."?
Ryan, 17 year old Graduate of the Standing Strong T
“The difference this weekend has made to me is that I have been able to spend two days witha great group of folks in an extraordinary positive, uplifting environment. Yes, I did get to go 2 days and NOT hear a single negative word, phrase, or story..."?
Rob Spence , Graduate of the Standing Strong Together Trai
“When I got the blue ribbon, I felt different. I felt as if that ribbon gave me more hope and its saying motivated me more to look forward to my life, and now, I can’t wait to finish school and begin discovering what I really can do with my life."?
Annett, 12th grade student at Mission Bay High School
“I went home with a positive attitude. I can honestly say that it changed the way I am right now as a teenager. I believe it’s great what you all are doing and how you change people’s lives. Thank you."?
Priscella, 12th grade student at Mission Bay High School
“Thank you so much for the huge gift disguised in a little blue ribbon! My biggest heartbreak in life is watching people give up on their dreams and what they want for the world because they feel insignificant and unimportant. I'm excited to be making a difference along with Blue Ribbons Worldwide!”
Ronda Wada, Heart Virtues Expert, Trainer & Facilitator a
"I would recommend in a minute or less to everyone out there young or mature who wants to brighten someone's day and really see what a difference it can make to let someone know you care with a blue ribbon."
Jason, 16 year old
“Because of this training, I was given the opportunity to open myself to people I don’t even know. What makes this the perfect program is that you can share anything you want and you know and feel what it is to be in a community.”
Edgardo , 17 year-old Graduate of our “Standing Strong
“I have never participated in a training of this nature, it is so authentic. You have helped me and the other participants to acknowledge, feel, and heal our hearts and I think that was pretty amazing. I have been empowered to empower others and I am so grateful for that.”
Lisa Adderly-Paul , Graduate of our “Standing Strong Together”™ C
My dream is to go to college and live in a brightfull future. It's difficult to believe that one person changed and brightened my life. Even under the circumstances to which I'm falling; depression, hatred and homelessness. I used to believe the world revolves around war and death, crime and failure. That the world I lived in expected me to fall at its control and lie to my own life that I'm just another one of its inhabitants. But the world is wrong...I control my life, my future and my dreams. I can Make A Difference and believe that I AM AWESOME!!”
Victor, 18 year-old Graduate of our “Standing Strong
“ I learned that I need to be more of a difference maker. I learned that I want to make a difference in my company and also at companies around the world. I work in an environment where employees are not appreciated or valued and morale is low because everyone is so stressed out. I can only imagine what the Blue Ribbons Worldwide’ program could do at my company and companies around the word… This weekend has changed my attitude and I think it is going to change the direction of my future. ”
Anna, Adult Graduate of our “Standing Strong Togeth
"I’m only 14 years young and I didn’t really know what I wanted out of life. I now know I have the capability to be wonderful in ways I cannot image. I feel as though I have a new outlook on my life. There are new things I want to start doing and some bad habits I want to change. I honestly do want to go out and MAKE A DIFFERENCE! I know I will change the lives of many for the better if I give it my all! I need to show my appreciation for so many people and all that they do for me! I feel like I have a chance to be a better person. I will be a better person! I am going to change so many lives and make a difference. After this amazing training I feel more pure and awake. I am so full of love and I’m ready to share that with the world!"
Marisa , 14 year-old Graduate of our “Standing Strong
“Thank you for having a program solely based on the acknowledging and honoring and appreciation of yourself and others. This training was something I was told about and invited to as an opportunity to learn how to be a better leader for our town’s youth council. What I actually got out of this training was something waaaaay deeper! I have learned so much about myself!! I realized that I have the power to change people’s lives – not just the youth council members – but my family and friends and my own.”
Jessica Baca , Adult Graduate of our “Standing Strong Togeth
“This training has sincerely taken an impact on the way I will think about myself and others from this day on. The five principles of the Standing Strong Together program will forever be instilled and taught by me. I plan on bringing this program into my high school and community because I know that seeing this curriculum will unite the people around me into a loving society. By simply acknowledging someone with a blue ribbon, we can ALL make a difference in other people’s lives!”
Dan , 16 year-old Graduate of our “Standing Strong
This intense curriculum has provided a safety zone where leaders can excel in their own greatness and transform their lives. You have provided the essential tools for leadership...along with those tools you have also provided the necessary empowerment and support that is not found in a tool box but only discovered through an experience.”
JoAnne (JoJo) Cousino , Adult Graduate of our “Standing Strong Togeth
“I was especially touched by the youth. Their love, courage and ambition was inspiring. Id love for the youth in my community to be given the same support. As a teen I experienced first hand the power of the Blue Ribbon Ceremony. Now (20 years later) as an adult and a mother I want my son and my community to have that same wonderful experience. It’s a fascinating circle.”
Alithea, Adult Graduate of our “Standing Strong Togeth
"This a real life affirmation that I am on the right path and I can go forward without hesitation and be a difference maker!"
Heather Criswell , owner of WiseInside
“I think the best thing I learned from this seminar was to follow my dreams and believe in myself. I uncovered my inner-beauty. The love I have in my heart, I will spread to others and it will have a ripple effect, so that everyone knows that who they are makes a difference.”
Stephanie, 16 year-old Graduate of our “Standing Strong
“They dynamic of having teens and adults in the same class was really powerful. I hae a new respect and admiration for the teens and the struggles they go through. I look forward to bringing back what I learned from this weekend to my community and being the difference maker they desperately need.”
Jason Turner , owner of Peakmindset
“It only takes one small step of courage to benefit not only myself but the whole world around me; that is what Blue Ribbons Worldwide taught me.”

Alex , 16 year-old Graduate of our “Standing Strong
I can't thank Blue Ribbons Worldwide enough for allowing me the opportunity to honor our parents in this way. I feel so lucky to be a part of this wonderful program and look forward to spreading the Blue Ribbons Worldwide’ message to the surrounding areas of Utah and other states where organization is and beyond! Thank you, again, so much for helping to create this wonderful opportunity. Such a powerful message in the form of a little blue ribbon.
Roxy Hastings, Northern Region Director, RISE Inc. - Family

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