Keep tabs on our mission to keep kids safe
This past month I met 13-year-old, Dylan Cruz. He told his story about being the target of bullying at a national event in Washington, DC in front of a crowd full of supportive onlookers. This past week I interviewed Dylan using Skype. Watch the interview after watching the video he created for Facebook. A short summary of his story is included below.
Dylan’s video for Facebook:
Dylan’s Skype interview:
Dylan’s Story: In 2011, Dylan was incessantly bullied in school, on the football field, and through social media by those he called “friends” and “teammates”. By 2012, feeling suicide was his only way out, Dylan nearly ended his own life due to the incessant bullying he endured. Many nights thereafter, Dylan and his mother Christine would cry [together] begging God to help them. As a mother, Christine had no idea where to turn or even how to save her son. But through the student ministry at Passion City Church in Atlanta and through close friends and family Christine’s prayers were finally answered and Dylan’s life changed in ways she could not have even imagined. Today, Dylan is now living proof that your test is your testimony! Dylan is also a Youth Ambassador for Listen To Our Voices and he spoke about his struggles at the December 5th Anti-Bullying/Youth Violence Symposium in Washington D.C.
Visit the Listen to Our Voices website to learn more about their mission and their program.
Meet Aija Mayrock, author of “The Survival Guide to Bullying”, which provides a road map for teens, written by a kid, for a kid. Now 19, she has been visiting schools and talking about her book and what inspired her to share her story. Aija’s book is currently available electronically and will be going to print this summer. In our interview, she discusses this book as well as her experiences with film.
Earlier this month, we interviewed Logan, Haley, and Nate McKinney. They attend Evans City Elementary School in Pennsylvania, where they participated in a play called “Bullies Anonymous”. In addition, they are also a part of a communitywide anti-bullying program called “We Care”, which highlights 5 measures you can take to stand up against bullying. The three siblings are very passionate about the programs and plan to continue taking measures to prevent bullying. You will see that they had a lot of fun holding the camera during our Skype interview.
This week, Sierra spent some time talking with 16 year old Lizzie Sider from Florida. On tour, Lizzie has visited states all around the country, sharing her music and passion for self-esteem with hundreds of thousands of students. Check out this interview to learn more about Lizzie’s experience with bullying and how she is using it to positively impact young people all around the world through her music!
Sierra had the great pleasure of interviewing Cameron (a 2nd grader from Beaumont, California) who tells us about his video project that helps teach others about bullying and accepting others. Cameron had personal experience being on the bullying side of an incident at school and he used this experience to make a positive difference. He shares with us what he has learned through the process and his message to others who watch his video.
As a follow up to our interview with Ariane and David from Leaders in Life last fall, we met Sophie who was one of the volunteers for this year’s conference. Check out her interview to hear more about the 15th Annual Leaders in Life Conference this spring.
Sprigeo’s intern, Sierra Siebern, had the privilege to interview Christian Bucks, a student at Roundtown Elementary School in York, Pennsylvania. Christian has been interviewed for The Today Show, Scholastic News, TED, and many other incredible media outlets.
Christian has been talking to schools across the country about the positive difference that Buddy Benches can make for schools. The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Check out the video as Christian explains the Buddy Bench and what it stands for:
For more information about the buddy bench or to learn more about creating one for your school community, visit Buddybench.org. As of today, over 250 benches are tracked on the map on Christian’s website.
Meet Naomi, a senior at Palisade Preparatory School in Yonkers, New York. She has played an integral role in shaping the Phoenix Panel at her school, a program that involves peer-peer mediation to address incidents of bullying. Take a look at our interview to find out how this program came together and how you may be able to bring something similar to your school. Kudos to Naomi and her school administration for working together towards a safer school climate!
Nick Lamoreux , 19 years old, produced an anti-bullying film called “Forgive Me” that is has been showing at schools and venues in Connecticut. What makes this film unique is how it shows the side of the person doing the bullying behavior, where other films focus on the victim or the bystander. Nick’s hope is that kids will see this film and know that they are not alone. The goal is to have the film shown in as many schools as possible. In our interview, he shared with us the background behind this project and more. Thank you to Nick for using his talent and passion for film to create positive change.
Here is a link to view the trailer of the film:
Viewer discretion is advised. Imagery and language not suitable for younger audiences.
Here is a link to the film:
In December, we co-sponsored an event at Santa Barbara High School which included a screening of Submit the Documentary as well as a panel discussion on bullying and cyberbullying. Our panel consisted of several students who are part of a group called “Peace Builders Club” through a non profit organization called Aha!. Check out our interviews with two of these students who are creating positive change in their high school: