Argyle students encouraged to be 'sweethearts and heroes' to stop bullying

April 05, 2017 06:28 PM

ARGYLE - If anyone has a right to feel hopeless, it's Rick Yarosh.

His armored tank was blown up in Iraq and it nearly killed him.

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On fire, and a leg injured so badly it had to be amputated, he was prepared to die.

"To understand hope as well as I do, I also have to understand hopelessness. And that hopelessness is the fact that I laid on the ground on fire and I gave up. Gave up." he said. "And it's crazy to think that there are kids who walk through hallways to feel as hopeless as that."

So he's doing something about it.

The Binghamton-area native is taking his message to schools around the country, hoping to bring hope to the hopeless.

He tells them hope stands for, "Hold on, possibilities exist."

Yarosh is part of 'Sweethearts and Heroes,' a program that inspires kids to be kind. And intervene when others aren't.

Former MMA fighter Tom Murphy is one of the co-founders.

He gives kids real-life strategies for stopping bullies.

"The real reason kids don't jump into action is we've never taught them what to do," Murphy said.

He says it's sometimes as simple as getting the bullied person away from the bully.

Murphy calls bullying or the failure for us to do something about it when we see it, the single biggest problem facing humanity.

"Einstein figured this out well before we did. He said, 'This world is a dangerous place to live, not because of evil people, but because of those who choose to do nothing about it,'" said Murphy.

That's where the name comes in.

One school at a time, these two men who've seen more than their share of violence, are empowering more young sweethearts and heroes.


Mark Mulholland

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