Learning to love better through One Love


Dylan Drury '22

Sacred Heart students promote the message of the One Love Foundation, which aims to teach students how to love better.

The One Love Foundation is the largest national organization that works to prevent relationship violence and abuse, aiming to teach the next generation how to develop healthy relationships, or “love better,” according to joinonelove.orgFrom creating documentaries about the organization to dedicating athletic competitions and games to the foundation, Sacred Heart Greenwich students constantly show their support for One Love. 

One Love is a non-profit organization created in honor and in memory of the late Ms. Yeardley Love.  The foundation educates students worldwide about understanding the importance of engaging in healthy relationships and avoiding unhealthy ones.  One Love has educated over 1.4 million people through in-person workshops, and has also reached over 100 million people worldwide through online video content, according to joinonelove.org.

Ms. Love was a lacrosse player at the University of Virginia (UVA) and was just three weeks shy from graduating when her ex-boyfriend killed her.  In May 2010, her mother, Mrs. Sharon Love, and her sister, Mrs. Lexie Love, created the One Love Foundation after they realized that Ms. Love’s death was preventable if those around her had recognized the signs of an unhealthy relationship earlier.

Upper School students facilitated One Love workshops for all spring athletic teams April 7.  Dylan Drury ’22

Senior Hannah Dempsey and junior Lauren Giuriceo are the co-club heads of the One Love Club at Sacred Heart.  The club meets once every two weeks and aims to educate Sacred Heart students about the importance of healthy relationships.  Lauren is also a One Love Teen Ambassador for the tri-state area and a member of the organization’s Youth Advisory Board. 

I started to run the club because I wanted to grow the presence of One Love in the Sacred Heart community,” Lauren said.  “I decided it was really important to educate my friends and classmates about healthy relationships because we all deserve to be in caring and respectful relationships.  I also think that knowing how to tell when a relationship is unhealthy or dangerous is a skill that everyone should have and could potentially save lives.”

Hannah decided to continue the One Love Club at Sacred Heart as she wants to educate the members of the Sacred Heart community about the importance of healthy relationships, equipping them with useful lifelong skills.

“My favorite part about educating others about One Love is seeing the change it makes,” Hannah said.  “It brings a light in people’s eyes and makes them think deeper into relationships even in their own lives.  In the end, I believe that this education will change and save many lives.”

Mr. Colin McLane P’17, One Love Board Member, spoke to the importance of One Love’s message as it prompts crucial conversation and encourages all to learn from the organization.

“I was struck by the senseless murder of Yeardley Love and just could not wrap my head around why it happened,” Mr. McLane said.  “As the Love family looked for ways to grow the foundation and to honor Yeardley, they looked to grow in the New York area.  Their message was so simple yet so challenging.”

One of the first things One Love teaches young people is the ten unhealthy signs of a relationship.  These ten signs are intensity, betrayal, sabotage, possessiveness, belittling, manipulation, isolation, volatility, guilting, and deflecting responsibility.  One Love also highlights the ten signs of a healthy relationship that promote growth and change.  These signs include comfortable pace, trust, honesty, independence, respect, equality, kindness, taking responsibilities, healthy conflict, and lastly, fun.  One Love hopes that teenagers and young adults will be able to clearly differentiate healthy and unhealthy relationships by learning these key signs.

“The most basic way for everyone in the Sacred Heart community to engage in One Love is to live by and memorize the 10 healthy signs and the 10 unhealthy signs of a relationship,” Mr. McLane said.   “They are so simple and resonate with everyone.  I carry a little card in my wallet with the signs.”

During the month of April, One Love is holding an annual fundraiser called Yards for Yeardley.  Through this fundraiser, participants can pledge to move a certain amount of yards from April 1 to May 3, which is then calculated into miles.  The goal is for One Love to have people participating in the fundraiser progress a total of one billion yards through exercising.  Those contributing to the cause are then welcome to donate any sum of money.

One Love teaches the ten signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships to promote safe environments within relationships.  Dylan Drury ’22

Sophomores Maggie Sullivan and Corbin Callaway collaborated with juniors Dylan Drury and Isabelle Berkery alongside Lauren and Hannah to educate the spring sports teams about the importance of healthy relationships April 7.  These student-athletes learned about the ten signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships by watching a short film created by the One Love Foundation titled Amor del bueno.

Isabelle is a member of both the Sacred Heart lacrosse team and the One Love Club at Sacred Heart.  Isabelle believes that participating in Yards for Yeardley benefits not only her team, but the whole community and beyond.

“I really enjoyed facilitating a One Love workshop at Sacred Heart because I think it is so important for us to know what a healthy and unhealthy relationship looks like,” Isabelle said.  “I am also excited to participate in Yards for Yeardley with the lacrosse team because it is a great way to get people to exercise for an amazing cause.  The Sacred Heart athletic teams are coming together for a greater good which is so nice to see.”

Mr. Michael Harley is the engagement coordinator for the New York tri-state region chapter of One Love.  Mr. Harley works closely with schools located in the tri-state area to educate communities about the organization and its message.  Before working for One Love, Mr. Harley worked with the State University of New York at Binghamton’s 20:1 Prevention Programs, providing educational workshops in sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention to students at the University. 

Mr. Harley hopes that individuals who learn about One Love can understand how to maintain healthier relationships and become better at recognizing unhealthy behaviors.

“I hope people realize that we all can learn how to have healthier relationships,” Mr. Harley said.  “I hope we can be better at recognizing unhealthy behaviors before they become abusive, and that everyone can recognize the power they can have as a friend, and the impact that reaching out or supporting someone in need can have.  Lastly, I hope people realize the magnitude of the issue, but also see that they can have a role in changing the statistics and creating a community with healthier relationships.”

Mr. Harley believes that students bringing the One Love training to their own communities is crucial and will help One Love grow as a foundation. 

“My favorite part [of One Love] is our Train the Trainer model,” Mr. Harley said.  “I love seeing someone go through training and then be able to lead this critical conversation with their peer.  The ability for someone to hear from their friend, teacher or coach about the importance of this topic, rather than me having to go to every single school and lead every workshop is really special to me.  Seeing so many other people stand up and say ‘I want to be a part of bringing One Love to my community,’ and then going out and doing it…it’s amazing to see.”

Featured Image by Dylan Drury ’22