By Grace Miller
AHA! is a program that runs throughout Santa Barbara. It is in many schools, camps and their local programming selection. At SBJH, we host the program on Wednesdays for our students to enjoy time as a group, meeting new friends, and stepping outside of their comfort zone. “AHA! is committed to transforming the world by empowering teens to create peaceful and connected communities.” That totally sums up the way AHA! works, and what it offers.
The program includes approximately 3,000 students and kids and 20 staff members as well as the two founders Jennifer Freed and Rendy Freedman. The main message is for each person to feel confident and happy about themselves, whether that is their physical features, feelings, or other personality trait about themselves. Jennifer and Rendy founded this program since 1999.
When I asked why these two women started the foundation the response was, “to help youth transform schools and communities into peaceful, loving places.” This program helps kids and teens discover who they are, so they can break out of their shells. It is also a non-profit organization. This foundation includes a variety of activities outside of their school programs and their programs at their main location. Some of the activities that are included in the program have been a “sing it out” concert, a hike for AHA!, and a peace builders project. But as well as those, they have in school, after school, and even summer programs.