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CHARLOTTE – One of our local high school students is now co-president of the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere’s Youth Advisory Board.

Chapel Hill High School senior, Anna Tsui, is serving on the board after being elected to the position by her peers. Although she is serving as co-president, Tsui says she is focused on helping to guide her peers instead of lead them.

“Everyone has a voice and they can all lead in their own separate ways,” Tsui says.

This is Tsui’s second year on SAVE’s Youth Advisory Board, which takes only six high schoolers from across the country. She is also a member of her school’s SAVE chapter. There, Tsui says she has worked to create programs to alleviate violence and tension among students, like placing surveys in the school’s bathrooms with information about risky behavior.

“Most clubs at our school, they have a core group that tells you what to do, or a teacher, or an advisor that just assigns you whatever you need to do,” Tsui says. “But SAVE is different, in that all the students that are in SAVE have a voice.”

Executive director of SAVE’s national association, Carleen Wray, says members of the board are selected for being active in their communities in working to prevent violence in schools.

“When there have been bullying incidents, Anna is not afraid to step up and help to address the issues of the victim and get them out of that situation and also to change the school’s climate,” Wray says.

SAVE’s Youth Advisory Board is meeting at the National Youth Leadership Instititue where Tsui and others are being trained. Wray says that one of the training topics is how to teach students about reporting incidents to teachers and other school administrators.

“We know that, in most school shootings, the youth knew about it but it was never reported,” Wray says.

SAVE started in 1989 when a student at West Charlotte High School was shot and killed while trying to break up a fight. His friend came together to try and organize to prevent similar violence in the future, creating the first SAVE chapter

SAVE has more than 2,000 chapters in 48 states with more than 230,000 members.