“Wingman” is a unique youth leadership program that develops social and emotional skills through team-bonding and trust-building activities. The Wingman program inspires children to be more empathetic and courageous to create strong, inclusive communities as an antidote to the epidemic of social isolation we face today. See the program in action on YouTube.

During an intensive three-day training program at NJSBA headquarters in July, participants learned experiential education techniques and the student training curriculum. The Workshop was led by two Wingman Master Trainers supported by the program director in New Jersey. Ian Hockley, founder and executive director of Dylan’s Wings of Change, participated in the training.

“We are very grateful for NJSBA hosting our workshop and supporting this huge milestone for Wingman,” said Hockley. “We were inspired by the energy, enthusiasm and desire to help children that all of our new trainers brought to the workshop.”

The new team of trainers will give the Wingman program “a huge boost in New Jersey and will allow us to accept a vastly greater number of schools into the program in 2019-2020,” Hockley added.

“Ian Hockley and Dylan’s Wings of Change have formulated an incredibly positive youth leadership program, which NJSBA is proud to support,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “We are also looking forward to hearing Ian’s keynote presentation on Oct. 23 at Workshop 2019.”

The training is supported by the New Jersey School Boards Association and sponsored by the Educational Leadership Foundation of New Jersey. Learn more on the Dylan’s Wings of Change Trainer Recruitment page.

A training program is also scheduled for August, but all spots are filled.

About Dylan’s Wings of Change Dylan’s Wings of Change (DWC) is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the memory of Dylan Hockley, who was killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th, 2012 along with 19 other first-graders and six educators.

DWC sponsored the start of the Wingman program in Connecticut in 2015. Since then, it has been adopted by 37 schools across the tri-state area, over 240 dance studios in the U.S. and overseas, and summer camps and after-school programs.

New Jersey is the first selected for a state-wide offering of Wingman, and Dylan’s Wings of Change has partnered with NJSBA to spread awareness of the program and develop the support infrastructure to maximize success. Seventeen schools enrolled in Wingman in New Jersey in the 2018-2019 school year, and this recruitment drive for trainers will help prepare for the next wave of programs in 2019-2020.