Omegaman and Friends came to visit students from Orchard, Elgin, Ewing and Verdigre to help crush the rise of bullying in schools.
Marc Wilkes a.k.a Omegaman started the school program in Lakeland, Florida after seeing an increase of school bullying in national headlines. Along with the increase, Wilkes looked back on his personal experience growing up with a speech impediment and how he struggled with bullying as a child as well. At the age of 12, Wilkes started lifting as a way to escape the negative energy he began to feel from the bullying. Years of bullying began to take a toll on Wilkes, when he finally began to make a change.
“My mom helped me to understand that I was letting them affect the good person that I was,” said Marc. “I had even considered suicide as a result of being depressed. In the end, though, I decided that I needed to believe in myself and not let that negativity take over my life. I started taking speech therapy and began focusing on my strengths instead of my weaknesses.”
After years of improvement, Wilkes finally decided to make a change in lives all over. The Omegaman and Friends program focuses on tackling the issues of bullying, drugs, alcohol, violence, peer pressure, obesity, and more with a superhero theme for kids to look up to.
Verdigre guidance counselor Dixie Hanefeldt said, “The Omegaman experience was definitely very positive. All of the kids were pumped up coming home and couldn’t stop talking about the things they had seen and learned. One little second grade girl stopped by my office the other day and she said, ‘Now remember, we have to be Dream-makers, not Dream-breakers. So, it definitely stuck with them.”
Throughout the program, students get the interact with Omegaman with phonebook tearing, baseball bat breaking, and so much more. With these activities, Omegeman challenges students to “Be the H.E.R.O. in YOU!” Helping Everyone Respect Others, along with teaching the important lesson of being a Dream-maker not a Dream-breaker.
Hanefeldt stressed, “Respect encompasses many, many behaviors, so our students grades 2-6 have signed pledges to show respect toward others. And all of those grades have made posters and they are all up and down our elementary.”