PHOTO: GinaMarie Raimondo, founder and executive director of Bullying…We’re Kickin’ It, has been named the 40th New Jersey Hero by First Lady Mary Pat Christie.
Trenton, NJ – First Lady Mary Pat Christie has recognized GinaMarie Raimondo as her 40th New Jersey Hero. GinaMarie was one of three New Jerseyans nominated for their respective efforts to make a difference by encouraging youth empowerment, tolerance and acceptance of others. Rounding out the February New Jersey Heroes candidates were Lynne Azarchi of Kidsbridge Tolerance Center in Ewing and Zach Certner of Special Needs Athletic Programs (SNAP) in Morristown.
“GinaMarie’s passion and determination is so inspiring,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie. “Through Bullying We’re Kickin’ It, she has developed a groundbreaking organization that gives children who are bullied a voice while teaching tolerance of others and their differences. GinaMarie exemplifies the true ideals of a compassionate leader and I am proud to name her as my 40th New Jersey Hero.”
Through Bullying… We’re Kickin’ It, founder and executive director GinaMarie Raimondo has created an effective method of educating children on how to positively express and resolve interpersonal problems through the practical application of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others.” Her unique approach led her to create the first and only antibullying and leadership center in the country that educates and embraces all children with programs for children starting at two years old; supporting them throughout their school and social journey
“No words can express how extremely thankful I am for all those who support Kickin' It. Anytime a grassroots organization like ours receives recognition like this, is truly a humbling experience,” said founder and executive director GinaMarie Raimondo. “Kickin It is not about one individual; it’s about all the supporters who have joined together that serves as the most powerful example for our youth; and it is not all about the end result, it is about persevering throughout the journey. I am proud to accept the New Jersey Heroes Award on behalf of our supporters and the Kickin’ It Kids.”
Nominated by a volunteer, GinaMarie’s all-encompassing model reduces bullying at its core with myriad services improving the overall school and social climate. The Kickin’ It Kids Center delivers services including preschool programs, homeschool alternatives, afterschool workshops, summer camps, guardian workshops, mentoring and peer leadership. Children are taught character education, respectful social behaviors, tolerance, acceptance, accountability, cultural and diversity appreciation, and life skills. Kickin’ It also provides educators, of all grade levels, with workshops required by NJ’s antibullying laws.
To learn more about Bullying… We’re Kickin’ It, visit www.werekickinit.org
GinaMarie Raimondo is the sixth New Jersey Hero determined by the public via an online poll posted to the New Jersey Heroes website. More than 28,000 votes were cast this week.
New Jersey Heroes is an initiative First Lady Mary Pat Christie began in 2010 to showcase the positive and unique ways people and organizations are impacting New Jersey and their communities. To nominate a hero, go to newjerseyheroes.org and follow the application instructions to submit the person you believe is a true New Jersey Hero.