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Summer Newsletter 2023

Use Summer Break to Embrace Compassionate Conversations

Summer break is a time to relax and celebrate your accomplishments from the previous school year and prepare to start one of the most beautiful chapters of your life. We hope that you will begin your college life experience with safety, self-care and self-compassion.

Deterring on campus hazing begins with mindful choices and important conversations:

  • Start a conversation early with your family and friends about the groups you would like to join.

  • Think about what you are looking for in a group. Then, research initiation traditions and previous hazing violations.

  • Reflect on your own boundaries. Understand and exercise your power to choose.

  • Always report inappropriate behavior.

  • Be a true leader and inspire change of old dangerous traditions.

Parents can be part of the solution! The following are six action steps before your student heads to college

  • Start a conversation with your student about the groups or teams they are planning to join.

  • Ask your student what activities are required for new members.

  • Have an open and honest conversation about hazing and how to be part of the movement to change this culture.

  • Remind your student they can always demand respect. Humiliation or intimidation by existing members is never acceptable.

  • Show your student how to check previous campus hazing violations and their school’s system to report inappropriate behavior.

  • Have your student promise to report both to you and to the university any initiation activities that cause physical or emotional stress.

Together we say yes to life. Thank you for leading with love and compassion.


ATLF ambassador Katarina Peña sharing with other students her passion about ATLF

and the impact it has had in her leadership.

ATLF Announces Ambassadors

Scholarship Winners

This year, two students earned scholarships by demonstrating the qualities of compassionate leadership that defined Antonio: Sophia Romanov-Imber is a rising senior at Ransom Everglades High School. She is an accomplished writer who will become Editor in Chief of the school’s Inklings literary magazine this fall. An active member of our ATLF Ambassadors program, Sophia says, “I learned through ATLF that compassion does not stop at empathy but is continued through action. This program has opened my eyes to the varying perspectives one may have in a community, and that a community can be fostered in any environment through compassionate leadership.” Katarina Pena is a rising senior at Palmer Trinity School. She was recently presented with the school’s Community Service Award. Also an active member of the ATLF Ambassadors program, Katarina says, “I chose to become an ATLF Ambassador because I wanted to be equipped with tools so as to teach those younger than myself to treat everyone with kindness and love.”


Inaugural Antonio Tomasello Mentorship award winners recognized

Jackson Pegg and Athena Tsialas are recognized with mentorship award

This year, Antonio Tomasello, grandfather of Antonio Tsialas passed away. In his honor we presented the inaugural Antonio Tomasello Mentorship award to honor two students who share his commitment to community, mentorship, kindness and compassion. Jackson Pegg is a new graduate of Ransom Everglades High School. He is heading to University of Virginia. A founding member of the ATLF Ambassadors, Jackson is always the first to volunteer to share our message or lend a hand, Jackson presented, alongside Athena Tsialas to 600 students and faculty at the first hazing prevention assembly at Ransom Everglades, helping raise awareness of hazing and compassionate leadership with his peers. He has participated in role playing presentations to illustrate the impact of compassionate leadership and has served as a mentor to new members. Athena Tsialas is a new graduate of Ransom Everglades High School. She is heading to Georgetown University. Athena is one of our founding ambassadors. She successfully organized and delivered together with Jackson Pegg the first Hazing Prevention Presentation at her high school during Hazing Prevention week. Over 600 students were present and about 50 faculty and staff. She curated all the details and was an amazing liaison between the school and the Foundation. Athena has continued her advocacy work by representing the ATLF Ambassadors and the Foundation in other organizations at college level like and The Gordie Center at UVA. She has become a mentor to younger students and has recruited new ambassadors.

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