What started as a summer project turned into something that Renee Bull, 18, said could make a real difference for Delaware youth.


The Appoquinimink High School graduate, her two sisters and their friends won $3,000 to implement their idea that won the Delaware Girls Initiative competition, “Promote Peace Now.”


What started as a summer project turned into something that Renee Bull, 18, said could make a real difference for Delaware youth.

The Appoquinimink High School graduate, her two sisters and their friends won $3,000 to implement their idea that won the Delaware Girls Initiative competition, “Promote Peace Now.”

“It was kind of unreal,” Bull said. “We had to come up with a plan on how to promote non-violence.”

While other groups focused their presentations on firearm prevention, the five Middletown girls took a different approach.

Bull, her sisters Jasmine, 17, and Janesha, 14, and their friends Amber Cale, 14, and Ni’ Asha Wilkerson, 17, plan on holding meetings in Middletown, Dover and Wilmington that will focus on preventing bullying and fighting.

“You can really break someone down by your words,” Janesha said.

The group from Powerhouse Ministries in Middletown competed against two groups from Wilmington for the top prize.

Bull said that they wanted to focus on violence issues that impact students. 

“When I was in high school, these issues weren’t extreme, but they affected people in the wrong way and it’s necessary to stop them,” she said.

The girls received their prize on Aug. 18, and plan to hold their first meeting in Middletown in December.

Competing against six other groups, Bull and her friends gave their presentation to a panel of judges including Wilmington Mayor James Baker, State Police Officer Kevin Borderly, Chief Judge of Family Court Chandlee Johnson, Deputy Attorney General Patricia Dailey Lewis and Deputy Director of the Division of Family Services Rodney Brittingham.

“I think it’ll help decrease bullying and different types of violence,” Amber, a rising sophomore, said.

Daneya Wheeler, a program assistant for the Delaware Girls Initiative, served as the group’s mentor.

Jasmine, who is entering her senior year at Appoquinimink High School, said her favorite part of the process was the meetings and talking about different ideas.

A flyer was distributed through out the state to youth organizations allowing groups to submit proposals, said Joni Silverstein of the Delaware Girls Initiative.

Eleven groups submitted ideas, and a total of $7,000 was awarded to the groups who presented their ideas to the judges, Silverstein said. The competition was not limited to only girls. There were teams of boys as well.

This was the first year of the “Promote Peace Now” competition, which was funded by the Delaware Division of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

“I think we’ve seen throughout the state, that violence is a concern,” Silverstein said. “It gave the youths something they could focus on and earn money and allowed them to tell us what they think can be done, rather than have adults trying to tell them what needs to happen.” 

The girls want to have teen-on-teen interaction at their meetings, instead of having adults talk to teens.