Power Up

Power Up encourages the 85 percent of the population who are bystanders to bullying (rather than targets or bullies) to recognize the strength in those numbers and use it to intervene when they see something wrong.  An all-girl program, Power Up is focused on preventing the unique verbal and relational bullying prevalent among girls.

The stereotypical vision of bullying is the kind of physical bullying more common among boys. Far more common among both boys and girls is verbal bullying, name-calling and other forms of verbal harassment. Most people and programs virtually ignore relational bullying, the systematic diminishment of a child’s sense of self-worth through exclusion, shunning and gossip. Relational bullying is all too common among girls of all ages, but girls can be taught to prevent it and to intervene when they see any bullying happen in their schools.


  • Every 7 minutes a child is bullied.
  • 85 percent of bullying episodes happen in front of bystanders. The level of aggression and abuse rises with each additional audience member.
  • Adults intervene in only 4 percent of bullying incidents on the playground, and 14 percent of bullying incidents in the classroom.
  • Peers intervene in 19 percent of bullying incidents.
  • Power Up is designed to teach girls how to identify bullying; address bullies, targets and bystanders; and give girls the tools they need to intervene when they see bullying. We strive for the girls to find their power, both personally and in numbers, to stand up against bullying instead of just standing by.

A Power Up testimonial:

Submitted by Michele P., counselor at LW St. John Middle School in Parachute, Colo.

“We had a student named Andria who was on the wrong path, constantly getting in trouble and making poor decisions. She was given the option of either suspension from school or attendance in the Power Up Bully Prevention program being presented by Girl Scouts of Colorado. Andria chose to attend the Power Up program. Andria actively participated throughout the program. Since the program, Andria has been awarded -Most Improved Student,- an honor bestowed upon one student per year by the entire school staff. Andria has turned her life around and is no longer getting in trouble. Her grades have improved dramatically and she has become a positive and active student in her school.”

Objectives of Power Up:

  • Girls and adults will know bullying when they see it.
  • Girls and adults will explore ways to prevent bullying in their communities.
  • Girls and adults will be prepared to effectively intervene when they see bullying happen.
  • This program is unique in that it utilizes informal education, experiential learning and processing to teach bullying prevention in a same-sex setting. The program is strongly research-based, but adaptable enough to be relevant to girls in any situation or learning environment.

Outcomes of Power Up:

In evaluations of 6-12th grade participants in the Power Up program…

  • 94 percent of girls learned ways to help someone who is being bullied.
  • 87 percent of girls made a personal commitment to avoid bullying behaviors.
  • 92 percent of girls committed to defending others when they witness bullying.


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Girl Scouts of Colorado