HopeLine® from Verizon, UNI Center for Violence Prevention and Governor’s Office on Bullying Prevention announce scholarships and awards

Posted on Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Alan Heisterkamp, director, Center for Violence Prevention, 319-273-3545,

Blake Ruane, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Violence Prevention (CVP) and Governor’s Office on Bullying Prevention, and HopeLine® from Verizon will recognize 11 Iowa high schools for their work in implementing the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) model. The high schools will receive their awards at a luncheon on Wednesday, April 6, in Des Moines, Iowa. Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will attend the event and help present the awards.

MVP teaches techniques on how to be an active bystander and how to be a leader in preventing all forms of violence and abuse. MVP trains and engages school and community adults to then identify and train student mentors to facilitate bullying and gender violence prevention strategies to near-peers.

In addition, HopeLine® from Verizon will award one senior mentor from each of the 11 high schools a $500 scholarship in the spring to be used to further their education. 

"The HopeLine® from Verizon has been a generous and supportive partner for the Center at UNI. Their commitment to reducing and ending bullying and gender violence in Iowa by providing resources to train and engage high school students as mentors to younger peers, along with training a safety net of adult school and community leaders, is truly a model for other private-public partnerships who desire to cultivate safe learning environments and promote healthy relationships," said Dr. Alan Heisterkamp, director of the Center for Violence Prevention.

Verizon partnered with UNI to launch the center in 2011 and has contributed more than $135,000 in funding to support bullying and gender violence prevention programming in more than 20 school districts across the state – reaching over 5,000 students annually.

“We are proud to support the UNI Center for Violence Prevention because its work is making a difference across Iowa,” said Russ Preite, market president for Verizon.  “Our employees praise the center for working tirelessly to support, equip and empower youth to prevent all forms of bullying, violence and abuse in their communities.”

For more information on MVP and bystander education, contact Heisterkamp at 319-273-3545 or

For more information on the HopeLine® program, visit