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Our Goal

Our goal is to encourage strong leadership skills in children grades K-3rd grade and ingrain in them the desire to treat others as equals. In instances of witnessing bullying, discrimination or any form of neglect or abuse, our mission is to motivate children to find and act upon effective resolutions.
Our belief is that students who gain a clear understanding of what bullying is and how negative behaviors affect others, are more likely to refrain from such behaviors.

Our Mission

Our mission is to reduce and prevent bullying and discrimination, teach children empathy and inclusion in place of hatred and distrust, and increase their willingness to participate in school and after-school activities. We promote and teach effective and measurable solutions on how to avoid or respond to all forms of bullying relevant to early primary school-aged children. 

We provide encouragement through effective online or in-person storytelling and lesson plans available to teachers, home-school parents, and other academic institutions. This offers hope for every young student who experiences the harmful effects of any form of bullying as well as teaches parents to keep open communication with their children and look for early signs of bullying.

Donations enable Motivated to Act to help students, parents, and educators have access to anti-bullying books, videos, and lesson plans to achieve measurable outcomes. This also enables outreach to socially and economically disadvantaged schools and students through in-person or virtual presentations by children’s book authors, educators, and counselors

Our Vision

Initiation Phase

Phase One: Pilot the Confident Life™ Anti-bullying Program, Grades K-3rd
Pilot the Confident Life™ Anti-bullying Program, Grades K-3rd 100%
Phase Two: Develop the Pathways To Peace Program, Grades 7-12th
Develop the Pathways To Peace Program for Students 7-12th grades 15%

About Us

Motivated to Act is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in San Diego, California. We are dedicated to promoting anti-bullying and anti-discrimination messages to primary schoolchildren through the implementation of the Confident Life™ Program, an award-winning school curriculum. The Confident Life™ Program engages students and teachers with individual or group lessons and activities, utilizing a series of beautifully illustrated books and animated films. Our organization partners with educators, teachers, counselors, and advisors who are highly regarded in their respective fields. 

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What We Do

Books sold
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Want to help?

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Board of Directors

Stephen Tako
Founder, CEO

Marzena Jakubowski, APRN-CNM
Co-Founder, COO

Tammy G. Motola, RN, Ph.D.


Stephen Tako

Founder, CEO

Marzena Jakubowski, APRN-CNM

Founder, COO

Tammy G. Motola, RN, Ph.D.


Advisory Board


Denise Kronenberger, CPA

Treasurer, CFO

Maria George


Catherine Reville

Denise Kronenberger, CPA
Treasurer, CFO

Maria George

Ward E. Leber

James R. Alburger

Dr. Michael McQuary, Ed D


Corporate Partnerships

We would love to work with your corporation. 

Reach out to us below for more information.

harmony law
child safety
wong llc
cigma media
cristy white
romeos pizza
point loma
ceed logo partners
university club
Play Video

Join us for

Motivated To Act Annual Gala to Prevent Childhood Bullying

Thursday, September 12 · 5:30 - 9pm PDT

Join us for a night to support and learn more about Motivated To Act, as they provide a safer environment for all young children to thrive.

Stephen Tako, Founder CEO

Stephen Tako is a Senior Advisor on Childhood Bullying with the Child Safety Network®. Being a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, he has authored several anti-bullying-themed books for adults and children. As a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), he has produced, directed, cast, and performed in films and public service announcements focusing on youth issues such as bullying, discrimination, neglect and suicide.

One of Stephen’s most ambitious projects is the development of Motivated To Act, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing preventative measures to combat bullying and discrimination against children. Through the Confident Life™ program, his organization provides services to schools and other youth organizations through the use of lesson plans, music, and storytelling.

Stephen created an award-winning series of multicultural books and films based on the character Junga the Dancing Yeti®. This fictional character experiences bullying and discrimination mostly because of his appearance. Children ages 4-8 learn important life-lessons so critical for their age group regarding empathy, inclusion, overcoming age-appropriate adversity and other related issues. His third book in this series also includes fair play (sportsmanship) as part of the lessons children learn and the film adaptation features five former NFL players.

He lives in San Diego and also works as an Enterprise Lending Officer with Bank of America.

Marzena Jakubowski, APRN-CNM,RCFE(C.A.)

Marzena is a Board Certified Advanced Practice Nurse with over 30-years’ experience in the Healthcare Industry. She has worked at University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. In her roles of Nursing and Quality Director she supported the mission and vision of Federally Qualified Health Centers by improving access to quality healthcare and improving health outcomes.

During her longstanding professional career, she spearheaded and participated in numerous fundraising events supporting organizations like Ronald McDonald House, Sarcoma Foundation, American Cancer Association and St. Jude’s Hospital.

After meeting Stephen Tako in 2017, she was inspired with his passion of making a positive difference for children who were victims of bullying and oppression. She decided to join Stephen’s mission and was instrumental in transforming his anti-bullying short stories about Junga the Dancing Yeti® into a successful book and film series for children. 

Using the Motivated To Act platform, she aspires to continue with the anti-bullying mission by expanding and spreading the messages of love, empathy and acceptance. 

She hopes to Motivate children To Act with kindness; to use their negative experiences to create change and to provide them tools to prevent or overcome adversities.

Tammy G. Motola, RN, Ph.D.

Tammy Motola is the Co-Founder of Rezilir®, President, and a member of the Board of Directors. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and also received a BSN.

Her expertise runs deep in the investment banking industry and real estate development side. She became interested in business development and marketing, spending over a decade in this space.

Her involvement in raising capital goes beyond the startup circle and expanded to Universities in need of fundraising to support specific programs. She has strong social media marketing and branding skills.

Her vision for Rezilir is to become a leader in developing and implementing healthy housing communities. She is currently spearheading the development of their upcoming “Lifestyle living community, where health meets home” under the Rezilir Home division of the company.

Her passion and commitment to help and serve others lead to the role of advocate in the anti-bully movement on a national level, where she continues to give talks, participate in podcasts, help victims of bullying, and actively lobbies for new laws to protect children. She is an active life coach, supporter of the arts, and activist for women in the workforce. She resides in Florida where she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and her dog Maverick.

Denise Kronenberger CPA

Denise is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the founder of Kronenberger CPA & Company. Before venturing into her own company in 1998, she was employed with the United States Internal Revenue Service predominantly as a Revenue Agent for ten years. 

She received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Cleveland State University in 1987 and has held her CPA license since 1992.

Denise is currently the Director of the Finance Board at her church and previously held the positions of Treasurer and Youth Board Director. While she was the Director of the Youth Board, she participated in taking mostly underprivileged children on trips to experience backpacking and camping, encouraging them to
experience bonding and fellowship activities with their own group and others at the camp. These children also participated in work with animal sanctuaries and helped community residents in need with various domestic activities.

As a Corporate Sponsor and Development Advisor for Junga the Dancing Yeti® children’s anti-bullying books and films, Denise has provided book donations and storytime opportunities for children at a battered women’s shelter.

Maria George

Maria George received her BA in Microbiology & Immunology at UC Berkeley and her MPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at UCLA. After having her daughter, she received her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education through Northern Arizona University. She has worked in the child development field for over 15 years as a teacher, program coordinator, and field research manager. Currently she is a Professor in Child Development in the San Diego Community College District and Point Loma Nazarene University. When she is not busy teaching, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, taking long walks, enjoying nature, trying new restaurants, and creating videos.

Ward E. Leber

Ward Leber is a prominent figure in the field of child safety and advocacy. He is the Founder & Chairman of the Professional Advisory Board for the Child Safety NetworkTM (CSNTM), where he utilizes his expertise in child safety, public safety, security, and anti-domestic terrorism. Leber’s passion for child advocacy stemmed from a personal tragedy when his best friend’s son was abducted and murdered by a serial child killer. This event compelled him to dedicate his life to being a “Full-Time Child Advocate” for over four decades.

Since 1989, Leber and the CSNTM team have worked tirelessly to provide child safety resources to millions of families. He has selflessly contributed over two million dollars of his own finances to develop a groundbreaking technology that he believes is a revolutionary breakthrough in child safety and parenting. Leber’s charity, established as a private charitable trust and now a 501(c)(3) organization, operates with the lowest costs among national non-profit organizations, entirely relying on donations from corporations and individuals. None of the charity’s members, including Leber, receive a salary.

Leber’s extensive child advocacy work spans 35 years and includes the development of numerous programs and services. Many of his initiatives have been recognized and documented in the Library of Congress. He has collaborated with various government entities, such as the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Postal Service, the United Nations, and both the House and Senate. Leber has been acknowledged on 66 occasions by Congress for his innovative contributions and expertise in pediatric injury prevention and child advocacy.

As a certified trainer by the Department of Homeland Security, Leber focuses on Anti-Terrorism training for transportation professionals, particularly those involved with the 500,000 school buses transporting 26 million students annually. Additionally, he leads the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan effort for National School Bus Safety Month every September. Leber has testified before Congress as an expert witness on the use of federal funds for missing and abused children and has served on the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Board on Missing and Exploited Children. He has created impactful public service announcements and launched statewide and national child safety educational campaigns, reaching millions of parents through CSN, PTA, and major corporate sponsors.

Leber’s dedication to child safety has garnered numerous awards and recognitions, including the International Peace Pole from for his efforts in promoting an International Declaration of Peace among children. He has also been honored as a Hixson Fellow and Dunlop Fellow for Kiwanis International and actively participated in philanthropic endeavors such as building homes for Habitat for Humanity and supporting initiatives against human trafficking and bullying. Leber’s work has received support from schools, parents, Fortune 500 companies, over 200 celebrities, and unanimous approval from the United States Senate for ten consecutive years, setting a historical record.

James R. Alburger

Audio production, video editing and voiceover have been part of James’ life since he was about 12 years old when he literally taught himself how to edit music with a grease pencil, razor blade and 3M Scotch tape.

For more than 40 years, James worked as a professional magician, with many of his award-winning performances perfectly synchronized to music. His performing and audio skills led him to a 25-year career with NBC television in San Diego during which he received eleven Emmy Awards for audio production and sound design.

During his tenure with NBC, San Diego, James continued working as a performing magician and music consultant to other magicians and illusionists. He also developed a clientelle of independent video producers for whom he handled voice track recording, talent directing and audio production.

Upon leaving NBC, James opened as an independent producer, voiceover talent, and performance coach. His book, “The Art of Voice Acting,” was first published in 1998 and is currently in its sixth edition. The book is used Internationally as a performing arts and voice acting text book, and is considered “the bible of the voiceover industry” by most voiceover professionals.

James is also the co-executive producer of the VoiceOver International Creative Experience, the world’s first International convention for voice actors. During its 5-event run, the VOICE conventions literally changed the industry by bring the International voiceover community together for the first time and spawning numerous other voiceover conferences and events.

Dr. Michael McQuary, Ed D

Michael McQuary was born in the mountains of Idaho and moved southwest, living and attending school in Washington, Oregon, and California, before moving to the Himalayan Mountains in Northern India, and then settling in San Diego. 

Dr. McQuary received a BA from UC-Berkeley, MA from Fresno State, Doctorate from University of Southern California, and Postdoctoral Training at Harvard University. 

He had pre-professional job experience as a Railroad Fireman, Home Construction, Manufacturing Quality Control Inspector (private and government contracts), and Casualty/Life Insurance Representative, before initiating a professional career as Teacher, Principal, District and County School Administrator; as well as, international service with the Tibetan Children’s Village, in Dharamsala, India. 

Retiring in San Diego, California, Dr McQuary has been active in his community with multiple local, county, state, national, and international organizations, including service with Rotary (President), Democratic Party (Club President, County Central Committee-Director of Clubs, and California Democratic Council President), Pacific Beach Town Council (Director), San Diego Unified School District (School Board Member and President), California School Board Association (Delegate), Council of Great City Schools (Director), San Diego International Sister Cities Association (Chair), Sister Cities International Southern California Chapter (Director), and Sister Cities International (Director and Co-Chair of several committees: Sister Schools Initiative, US-Mexico Mayors’ Community Summit, and Strategy and Program Committee). 

As a member of the School Board for San Diego Unified School District (2nd largest school district in California, with annual budgets of more than a billion dollars per year and school bonds totaling more than $12 billion), Dr. McQuary advocated for excellence through equity, inclusion, and diversity (High Quality Schools in Every Neighborhood and High Quality Neighborhoods Around Every School), school gardens and peace poles (A place where kindness can be given and received), world languages (PreK-12 Language Immersion Programs-Chinese Mandarin, French, Spanish), cultural competencies (equity audits, ethnic studies, and anti-bullying policies), and civic/global engagement (PreK-12 IB Programs, civic learning, and Sister Schools). Multiple milestones were accomplished, including San Diego students achieving the highest graduation rates and lowest dropout rates of the larger urban school districts in California (California State Assessments-CAASPP) and achieving the highest 4th grade and 8th grade English Language Arts and Math scores of the larger urban school districts in the USA (National Report Card-NAPE). The District Superintendent, Cindy Marten, who served during Dr McQuary’s 8 year tenure, was appointed by President Biden and confirmed to serve as US Deputy Secretary of Education. 

Dr McQuary also left his local school board position for national and international service as a Board of Director for Sister Cities International, which oversees more than 2,000 Sister City

partnerships in more than 140 countries. As a Director, Dr McQuary focused on youth services, international student exchanges, Sister School Programs, and connecting students in US Sister Cities with students in international Sister Cities. 

Dr. McQuary has three Children, who graduated from UC-Santa Cruz, UC-Santa Barbara, and West Point (Served in Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq). He has three grandchildren, who attend elementary, middle, and high school, and two grandchildren, who graduated from CSU-Monterey Bay and CSU-Sonoma.