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Category Archives for Profiles/Voices from the Field

  • Posted: July 5, 2016

    In a small town like Bayfield, Colorado, no one thinks anything bad happens; especially not bullying. People think, “How can bullying be a problem here?” It is a problem – a big one. Bullying happens everywhere – whether in a small town or big city. I started a bullying prevention project because I wanted to raise awareness among my fellow students that bullying is a problem and help them understand the huge impact that bullying can have on their peers. I wanted people to realize how damaging bullying is.

    I wasn’t physically bullied. I was harassed and taunted because of a false rumor being spread about me. None of the bullying I ever experienced was physical; however, I can guarantee that it hurt just as much, if not more.

    Because of the pain I suffered, I wanted other students at my high school to realize that it is a big problem. In order to really reach the students, I would have to get them involved, and I thought that the best way to do that was with a school-wide assembly.

    I had students take two surveys, one before the assembly, and the other after... Continue Reading

  • Posted: March 3, 2015
    Thomas creates inspirational artwork in his Studio and Media Art class to encourage students to consider the effects of bullying and to inspire hope.

    Thomas creates inspirational artwork in his Studio and Media Art class to encourage students to consider the effects of bullying and to inspire hope.

    At age two, Thomas Ledbetter was diagnosed with Autism and was not expected to be able to speak. However, thanks to a great support system and an incredible amount of work on his part, he managed to overcome many of the obstacles in his life. Thomas experienced bullying throughout elementary and middle... Continue Reading

  • Posted: November 24, 2014
    Headshot Whitney Dockrey

    “Bullying is preventable… Having just one friend makes it less likely that a child will be bullied.” This was one of the key findings presented in Building Capacity to Reduce Bullying , a new report from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council ... Continue Reading

  • Posted: July 29, 2014
    Teen Advocate Colleen O'Neill

    The You Have The Power! Bullying Prevention Peer Education Project (YHTP!) is a 10-week after-school program where trained high school age youth mentors, with adult supervision, teach elementary and middle school students about the characteristics, risks, and consequences of bullying, and bullying prevention.

    Often when people hear the phrase “peer pressure” they think of how young people can influence each other in negative ways. However, peer pressure can also apply to how youth can be positive and supportive role models to others. As a high school student, Colleen O’Neill had an interest in promoting bullying prevention in schools. Her friends, including Mike Sousane encouraged her to become involved with... Continue Reading

  • Posted: July 22, 2014
    Teen Advocate Mike Sousane

    The You Have The Power! Bullying Prevention Peer Education Project (YHTP!) is a 10-week after-school program where trained high school age youth mentors, with adult supervision, teach elementary and middle school students about the characteristics, risks, and consequences of bullying, and bullying prevention.

    For a number of reasons, people can approach the issue of bullying with apathy and skepticism. They may feel it is not an important issue because they don’t have personal experiences with bullying or don’t recognize when it happens in their communities. Or they may view bullying as typical and expected behavior, or a developmental “rite of passage” for young people.

    However, it is possible for a person’s apathy and skepticism to shift into awareness, conviction, compassion, and action. This... Continue Reading

  • Posted: March 19, 2014
    Tifara Brown

    An image can be more impactful than hundreds of words – especially when it is used to raise awareness of an important issue. Tifara Brown and her peers used photography to deliver a message about bullying prevention.

    Classmates bullied Tifara from elementary school until high school. Tifara is an African-American whose parents raised her in a religiously observant and conservative household. She had to deal with negative stereotypes of African-Americans as being less competent than people of other races. In addition, she was often teased for her religious beliefs and choices.

    “I was raised in church, and my faith is a huge part of my life and who I am. I was negatively labeled as a ‘church girl’ for years and bullied about my modest clothing. As an African-American in advanced classes, I was often made to feel weird or unwanted whenever I... Continue Reading

  • Posted: January 14, 2014
    Ben Powell

    Ben Powell has been performing for others since the age of 3. Now at 19 years old, he enjoys acting, singing, and playing the guitar and trombone. As a high school student, Ben used his talents to impact his community. Specifically, Ben and his peers created a theatrical production to spread awareness about the potential consequences of bullying. With the support of his high school drama teacher, he and other students developed the project:

    “Our drama teacher approached us and presented the idea that a message to students may be more effective if their peers delivered it. So, our drama class wrote the script. We also helped design the sets, and were the main actors in the production.”

    The group called the project Teen Reality. Similar to a haunted house attraction, audience members walked through the sets to view the different scenes. The plot centered on several youth.  These youth included... Continue Reading

  • Posted: August 30, 2013
    Tyler Pascavis

    Tyler Pascavis wants us to talk about bullying. Tyler, 18, is a native of Illinois, a lifetime member of the 4-H, and an anti-bullying advocate who believes that the only way we can put a stop to bullying is to bring it out in the open. At the school Tyler attended most of his life, Tyler found that the administration was not willing to admit there was a problem with bullying.  A high-level school administrator once stated that bullying was not a problem at the school, so students who experienced bullying were left to suffer in silence. As someone who was bullied when he was young, and eventually someone who engaged in bullying himself, Tyler saw firsthand how staying silent on bullying could be as harmful as the bullying itself.

    Last April, Tyler had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC for the 4-H National Conference. There, more than 200 teens from across the... Continue Reading

  • Posted: July 17, 2013
    Anna Holcombe is part of the Georgia 4-H.

    Hello, I am Anna Holcombe, a “4-Her” from Canon, Ga. I am 15 years old. 4-H Site exit disclaimer is one of the largest youth development programs in the world and it is committed to educating youth on all aspects of bullying. One day at my county 4-H, I was assigned to make a tri-fold on bullying. After a few hours of research, I found myself in awe of all the things I was unaware of before beginning my study. Automatically, I felt the need to stand up for these children and teens.

    Last year, the opportunity was presented to me to teach a group of Georgia Cyber Academy children a bullying prevention game. It worked so well that I taught it again to a group of “4-Hers” at a Statewide event last fall. Over the past two years, I have taught many classes about bullying to 4-H groups of all ages. Continue Reading

  • Posted: May 8, 2013
    During the 4-H Conference, one working group brainstormed ideas on how to better reach teens through social media.

    The National 4-H Conference is the premier 4-H civic engagement experience for youth across the country. The conference provides an opportunity for 4-H members to increase knowledge, resources, and skills that will empower them to make an impact on their community in a meaningful and genuine way. Continue Reading

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