Why this matters
Our vision is simple: for schools and communities across America to be places in which teens don't have to deal with harassment, humiliation, and hate. Growing up is hard enough as it is, and yet it gets even worse because of the tendency of some to be cruel to others, often because they don't know how to cope with their own struggles and emotions.
Everyone is looking for an answer to the bullying and cyberbullying problem. We know where it can be found: in teens themselves. More than parents, teachers, counselors, coaches, law enforcement – they have the power and ability to do something. To step up, and be the change they wish to see in the world (as Gandhi has so eloquently put it). They can combat hate by leading the way to promote tolerance, acceptance, and mutual respect. They can get their peers on board, and make it cool to care about others. They can help build cultures of kindness on their campuses, which can gain buy-in and traction from others, and then go viral – completely revolutionizing the way things are.
We know this isn't just some random, ideal dream. We've met many teens who are coming up with creative ideas, and running with them. They are spearheading movements and making a real, measurable difference. And you know what? They are loving life, and they are setting themselves apart from everyone else – everyone else who is selfishly wrapped up on their own lives, and who just don't seem to care. They are daring to be different, and they are the guys and girls who will land the best opportunities tomorrow because of their attitudes and decisions today.
We want you on board. We can help. Join our community, tell your story, and get input from others. Brainstorm ideas. Celebrate successes. Learn from obstacles. And work together.
Words wound. But words can also heal and help. Don't be that guy who stands by in silence. Don't be that girl who does nothing. Join us, and do your part. We are right here with you, and all along the way.
When I was 13 in middle school I would receive anonymous phone calls on my cell phone during school and after school from some boys in my Spanish class threatening to rape me, kidnap me, kill me, and kill my dog. It was literally one of the most terrifying things that had ever happened to me, and after about 2 weeks of putting up with it, I finally reported them and they were arrested. Unfortunately that's not where it ended. These boys turned out to be the well-loved class clowns of the school and the torment from other students continued on MySpace. I ended up deleting it and didn't create another one until mid-8th grade when tensions died down a bit. I felt miserable for the rest of my middle school career and pleaded with my parents to transfer schools but they wouldn't listen. I did try to commit suicide more than once. The depression carried over into high school, but it was masked by having new friends that actually liked me. Eventually I did get help mid-Senior year and am continuing talk therapy in college.18 year-old girl from FL