Rites of Passage Institute
The Rites of Passage Institute offers life-changing wellbeing and leadership development programs to suit all ages, organisations and communities.
Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement™ began as a no cost program for schools but has organically expanded into programs for home, for work, and for community. We’re seeing sports teams use Choose Love programs to teach leadership. We’re seeing prisons use it for restoration. Even military families are using it to ease anxiety and strengthen relationships.
Since 2013, we have been on a mission to create safer schools and a safer world by teaching people how to use nurturing, healing love in any circumstance. Practicing social and emotional learning skills improves culture and cultivates an environment that is welcoming, supportive, compassionate, and safe.
The Choose Love Movement offers programs tailored for any age from toddlers through adulthood. At the core of it all is a simple formula (COURAGE + GRATITUDE + FORGIVENESS + COMPASSION-IN-ACTION = Choosing Love) that anyone can learn and practice to improve the world around them.
Scarlett Lewis founded Choose Love Movement after her son, Jesse, was murdered during the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in December 2012. It is one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
At six years old, Jesse, alongside 19 of his first-grade classmates and six educators, died. Yet law enforcement says Jesse used his final moments to heroically save nine of his friends.
Shortly after his death, Scarlett decided to be part of the solution to the issues that we’re seeing in our society today—and that also caused the tragedy. She created the Choose Love Movement and became an advocate for character development and social and emotional learning (SEL), which teaches children how to manage their emotions, feel connected, and have healthy relationships.
Before his death, Jesse left a message on their kitchen chalkboard, “Norturting Helinn Love” (Nurturing, Healing Love). When Scarlett learned that these words are included in the definition of “compassion” across all cultures, she realized that love, connection, and belonging are universal wants and needs that connect all of humanity.
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