|When attorney Adam Stone witnessed a fifth grade student being bullied because of his ethnicity, he decided to do something to bring about change in attitudes in his hometown of Bucyrus.
Stone explained, “While I was mentoring a group of fifth graders in 2010, one of my Latino students was disciplined for fighting after another student had called him inappropriate names and used racial epithets. The truly unfortunate aspect of the situation was that this bullying had been instigated by a teacher.”
Having researched several educational pieces that addressed bullying, Stone eventually found “Speak Truth To Power,” a program provided by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights that educates students about human rights and urges them to take action. Because of Stone’s efforts, Bucyrus City Schools became the first school district in Ohio to make the program a part of its curriculum. Stone reports that he greatly appreciates the support he continues to receive from the school administrators and teachers, who had to go through training sessions in order for the program to be successfully implemented.
The Bucyrus “Speak Truth To Power” Defenders Club started as a mentorship initiative called Boys Circle, a group of fifth grade boys at Bucyrus Elementary School with severe behavior problems whom Stone took under his wing. “I am so proud of the progress these boys have made,” he said. “They’ve started the ‘Ripple of Hope’ project to attack three major problems in their school and community: poverty, bullying and drug use. These boys have made posters to speak out against bullying, raised money and collected food for the poor.” The success of this program has led the school district to discuss the expansion of the “Ripple of Hope” project to include sixth, seventh and eighth graders for the 2012 school year.
Initially it was his love of competition that led Stone to his legal career. After he was injured while playing college basketball, he discovered that a career in law would allow him to develop other skills that would provide a competitive challenge in another arena. He received his undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University, where he majored in political science. Stone went on to receive his law degree at the University of Dayton School of Law. Now a general practitioner at his own firm, he “enjoys how each day brings something new.” Although his career has, by most standards, just begun, he has already scored many accomplishments. One of the most rewarding experiences has been his work with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. His work on behalf of others was recognized even before he finished law school, when he received the Citation of Honor from the Dayton Unit NAACP. Stone also received the Ohio State Bar Foundation’s 40 Under 40 Award in 2010, just six months after he had begun practicing law.
A member of the Ohio State Bar Association since 2008, Stone has been actively involved with the OSBA Access to Justice Committee for three years. He is also a member of the Ohio State Bar Foundation, the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In his community, Stone is a member of the Bucyrus City Schools Board of Education, and is actively involved with organizations including the Bucyrus Education Foundation, Bucyrus United in Learning and Development and the Bucyrus Kiwanis Club. Stone attributes his success to the support and patience of his wife, Katie, and to his mother and legal assistant, Sandy. “Through my work, social justice has truly become a passion for me and my family,” he said.