Kostohryz Named "Be Strong" Ohio State Representative

(Feb. 14, 2019) – Caleb Kostohryz, a seventh-grade student at Edgewood Middle School, was recently selected as a Be Strong State Representative for Ohio, a program designed to elevate the voices of inspiring students in each state across the country.

Be Strong is a national nonprofit organization focused on preventing bullying using a comprehensive student-led approach. This past fall, Edgewood Middle School participated in Be Strong LIVE, a national assembly designed to raise awareness for bullying prevention and resiliency. 

Following the assembly, Edgewood Associate Principal Martin Yoder and Guidance Counselor Ashley Bonenfant decided to nominate Kostohryz to the Be Strong State Representative program. According to Yoder, Kostohryz has been an active student member of Wooster Way and would be a great choice to spearhead Be Strong initiatives at Edgewood and beyond.

After receiving approval from Kostohryz’s mother and completing a brief interview with Be Strong Director Zeke Kemp, Kostohryz finalized his application to become a State Representative, which included a video.

When asked why he wanted to become a representative for Ohio, Kostohryz replied: “I would like to see an end to bullying in my school. I feel that we can all learn from each other and our differences. Then, bullying may stop because we would all be accepted for our own personal value.”

Kostohryz was notified on Jan. 22 that he was named a State Representative for Ohio alongside nine other students.

“Caleb is a hard-working student that contributes to the positive atmosphere of our building,” said Yoder. “He has a heart for his classmates and other students in our building and desires that everyone has value and is valued in our building.”

To further the mission of Be Strong, Kostohryz regularly volunteers to be a positive influence for change in his community and strives to include everyone when possible so he can be seen as a role model for others.

“Through the Be Strong program, I hope Caleb gains tools and confidence in himself so he can take the initiative to further these efforts as he continues his schooling here at Wooster City Schools,” said Yoder. “Over the next month, Caleb and I will meet to work on plans to implement the programs associated with Be Strong. Through that process, I hope that he learns some project management skills to continue this program at the eighth-grade level and even introduce it to other schools.”