Reflections from graduates who taught HIP lessons in their community through programs at their community colleges

“Participating in HIP not only allowed me to teach many people about the Bystander Effect and how to overcome it, but it also changed the way I view social situations. It built up my confidence to speak to large groups which is a skill that I use everyday in my career.”

 This student now has a BA in social work and is working at a memory care facility

“Being part of the HIP project ignited my passion for helping others and galvanized me to stop being a bystander in my own life.”

This student is completing her MSW this year and has been actively working with local Native American populations and with veteran groups.

HIP Training at Police Orientation and Preparation Program, Los Angeles, CA (February, 2017)

“Let me start by saying that we could not have been more pleased to have Jamie as our instructor! Not only is she an accomplished teacher, but her family connections to law enforcement made it easy for her to establish rapport with the officers  in the classroom. She was a great “fit” for sure. From a content standpoint, I was impressed that the material was research based and practical. I think that overall it was well received.”

Oakland, CA high school student:

“Zimbardo likes to tell a story about a high school student named Philip who completed one of HIP’s after-school educational programs. Riding on a bus one day, he noticed that one of the other riders appeared to be having a severe asthma attack. No one else made a move to help the rider, but Philip saw an opportunity to act. He asked the rider, “What’s wrong?” Once he got a clear explanation, he directed the driver to stop the bus immediately and led the rider to the nearest pharmacy so he could get the remedy he needed. Though no large-scale studies exist to date on the connection between situational awareness training and subsequent heroic action, Zimbardo sees Philip’s story as a compelling illustration of how such training can make us more likely to intervene to help others when necessary. “When he was asked, ‘Why did you do this?’ he said, ‘I knew it was the bystander effect in action. I learned at HIP that I had to take action, and I did.’”

Everyday Hero Testimonial – Australia

courtesy of partner Hero Town Geelong

“I’m driving along the main road out of town, following a camper van, and a big 4WD ute plowed into it. Head on. At about 100km/h. It looked really bad. My heart sank. My first aid training was 5 years ago. I thought, “S***! I’m not going to be able to do anything to help here!” But almost immediately (no joke) after that, a thought about Hero Town popped into my head and reminded me about the bystander effect and your hero training. I’m not even kidding, like it’s been a split second since the collision and I’m thinking about what you guys told me. From that I realized I couldn’t waste any time, and had to help in whatever way I could. I got out and it was every bit as awful as I imagined.

Somehow I kept my cool, and instructed someone to call the ambulance. One girl was unconscious and not breathing. I was able to gently lift her head, clear her airway and she started breathing again. I have never experienced anything so amazing as that moment. I just held the girl until the paramedics arrived. They assured me I had done the right thing. Unfortunately she passed away a few days later after the family switched off her life support. She had severe head trauma the moment the accident happened. There was nothing more anyone could have done. The family reached out to thank me, because they had the opportunity to fly out and say goodbye. That’s the silver lining. So I really have to pass on that thank you to you.

I genuinely believe the reason I acted as decisively as I did was as a direct result of the training. It got me thinking about the work you do and showed me that the training you do doesn’t necessarily have to be involved or complex to be effective. Even basic heroism training can be the difference between someone deciding to step in and assist, or flounder about. Clearly the work you’re doing has enormous life-saving and positive life-changing potential because I got first-hand experience of it working.

I’ll just reiterate so you know I’m not embellishing here, your message was, no kidding, absolutely, literally one of the first things that came to mind when the accident happened… “came to mind” is probably inadequate, more like flooded in strongly and stayed with me for the ordeal. So thank you! Keep doing what you’re doing!”

2014 Sicilian Student Surveys

What are the most important things you have learnt from this course?  (Growth Mindset Lesson)

“I have learnt that failing is not a negative factor, as is commonly believed, but actually a great opportunity for all of us because it allows us to achieve our goals. I have also learnt that in life we have to take risks and believe in ourselves”.

Do you think you will work on your mindset in the future? If yes, in what way?

“I will try to work on my mindset by reflecting more and, above all, by trying to react calmly and peacefully when faced with difficult situations in life”.

What are the most important things you have learnt from this course? (Bystander Lesson)

“Being heroic does not mean having superpowers. Being heroic means being there for others and helping them, regardless of their gender, age or race”.
“I have learnt that if someone needs help, we must break the barriers of conformism and be the first to help because a little bit of assistance can make all the difference”.

If you feel moved by these testimonials, please consider giving a small donation to help empower others to take action and do good in their everyday lives