10x Giving Challenge: Remembering Carson Starkey
Please support WITH US and Cal Poly as we work to raise $10,000 in memory of Carson Starkey, who passed away on December 2, 2009 - ten years ago. These funds will support the ongoing efforts of WITH US, the National Network for Peer Accountability at Cal Poly which was founded with a mission of preventing harm and lives lost to campus tragedies through peer-led movements of accountability and proactive intervention. Based within Cal Poly Student Affairs, WITH US is a national multi-issue bystander intervention research center dedicated to studying and developing impactful education and prevention solutions.
We know that, across the nation, college students find themselves in situations where threats of sexual assault, hazing, hate, bias, alcohol and drug use are all too real. We tell them to “be responsible” and “make good decisions,” but many simply lack the tools and knowledge to intervene. Giving to WITH US will help make the important research, outreach, programming, and education we do with college students throughout the nation possible.
Remembering Carson Starkey
On December 2, 2008 Carson Starkey lost his life to a senseless and preventable tragedy. During his first term at Cal Poly, he was coerced to drink large amounts of hard liquor as part of a fraternity hazing ritual. He was only 18 years old when his peers stood by while he died from an alcohol overdose.
We wish Carson’s story was an anomaly, but there are many like it. Students stand witness to preventable situations of harm and abuse on college campuses almost every day, but they are often ill-equipped to do anything about it.
WITH US was founded to prepare young people for these moments. To inspire them to no longer be bystanders, but to empower them as upstanders that intervene to prevent harm.
WITH US and Aware Awake Alive
The lessons of Carson’s life have impacted thousands through Aware Awake Alive’s awareness campaigns, education programs, and advocacy efforts. In February of this year, our mission grew with the launch of WITH US, The National Network for Peer Accountability, a national multi-issue bystander intervention research center based within the Division of Student Affairs at Cal Poly. The Center was established to expand on the peer-to-peer bystander intervention model of Aware Awake Alive and bring universities and prevention organizations together to address the many critical health and safety issues facing college students. Equipped with the knowledge, motivation, confidence, and skills, our students can step in to prevent issues of sexual assault, hate and bias, hazing, high-risk alcohol use, and other drug abuse in their communities.
WITH US: Upstander Week
Hand in hand with Scott and Julia Starkey, Carson’s parents and founders of Aware Awake Alive/WITH US, we are commemorating this 10th year with the launch of Upstander Week, a national campaign to inspire movements of helping one another. Follow along each day by liking us on Facebook at WITH US National Network.
Upstander Week (Nov. 26 - Dec. 2, 2018) will be seven days of real talk, reflection, and action as we all challenge bystanders to become “upstanders."
An UPSTANDER is a person that sees something wrong and steps up to help.
10x Giving Challenge
Tuesday of Upstander Week is Giving Tuesday and kicks off our 10x Giving Challenge that will last through the month of December!
You are the x factor that can amplify this upstander movement. For every person that hears Carson’s story, we’re challenging you to spread the message and support the mission.
Your gift as part of the 10x Giving Challenge will directly fund our lifesaving bystander intervention programs and awareness campaigns.
Remember the life and legacy of Carson by participating in Upstander Week and supporting our mission to create safe campus communities where all students can thrive.
If you’d like to give a recurring gift, please do so HERE.
More About Our Story
In 2016, Julia and Scott donated the Aware Awake Alive organization to Cal Poly with a vision of expanding its mission and impact beyond alcohol poisoning. They asked Cal Poly to take it to the next level by expanding the message into other critical areas of intervention to help more students and have a greater impact on changing harmful campus cultures.
WITH US, the National Network for Peer Accountability at Cal Poly was founded with a mission of preventing harm and lives lost to campus tragedies through peer-led movements of accountability and proactive intervention. Based within Cal Poly Student Affairs, WITH US is a national multi-issue bystander intervention research center dedicated to studying and developing impactful education and prevention solutions. Scott and Julia turned their pain into passion for doing good so that no other parent has to experience their tragedy.
Learn more at withus.org