Author Archives: Jessica

Making a Difference Through Connecting with Others

February 1st, 2014 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts | Your Voices - (0 Comments)

Meet Emmy Hendry.  Emmy is a college student and self-proclaimed anti-bullying and self-love advocate who runs a phenomenal YouTube channel. Through her videos, she aims to connect with others on topics related to flaws and insecurities, anti-bullying, making a difference, makeup, friends, relationships, and the list goes on and goes.  Emmy’s anti-bullying video is posted below, but you can find her other videos here and even contact her via Twitter.

Emmy says, “I truly hope this video helped some of you in some way. I am definitely not an expert on bullying, but these are tips that I know have helped my friends, and even myself. PLEASE do not feel like you are alone with what you are going through. There are many people experiencing the same thing you are. Talk to a parent, friend, sibling, close adult, or even myself. No one should be put in any uncomfortable position. Bullying is awful, and heartbreaking. I am doing what I can to help make a difference. Please join me in trying to make this world a safer place. We have no idea how hard the battles are that some face daily. PLEASE do me a favor and share this video in some way. There are enough social media sites out now that this video could reach many people. You could really help someone in desperate need for help. Be that person. XOXO”

 

 

Happy New Year!

January 2nd, 2014 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts - (0 Comments)

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.  Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.  So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.  Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”  ― Neil Gaiman

Happy New Year!

Love, MyKindnessCounts.com

Hazlet Middle School: Week of Respect

November 25th, 2013 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts - (0 Comments)

Phew!  So it looks like 2013 National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month is behind us!  I hope you all partook in some awesome anti-bullying  events or even better, some pro-kindness events.  Some schools and individuals really stepped it up a notch, and I want to take a moment to share some of the fantastic initiative that were sent me in the last two months. The first of these recap posts features Halzet Middle School, of Halzet, New Jersey.

During Week of Respect, Hazlet Middle School students were asked to contribute quotes related to kindness, which were read on the loud speaker for all to hear.  Students were also asked to sign a pledge to do at least one act of kindness during the week.  In addition to student activities, Principal Christine McCoid invited bullying speaker, Ronnie Bachman, to talk to the students about acceptance and diversity.

Pictures from their Week of Respect:

Hazlet Middle School

Hazlet Middle School

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As well as this fantastic video (which won’t embed, but you can find at the link!): http://animoto.com/play/5A43MUvJtwYHo7fuIldxfw

Thanks very much to Hazlet Middle School for sharing your Week of Kindness with us!. We hope students will remember these lessons throughout the rest of the school year and beyond!

On October 11, 2013, as a partner and affiliate of the Brave Girls Alliance, I was incredibly fortunate to travel to New York City to participate in the Girls Speak Out Summit at the United Nations in celebration of the International Day of the Girl.

What is the International Day of the Girl?

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On December 19, 2011, with the support of the Canadian Government, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 11th the International Day of the Girl Child.  The General Assembly stated that the Day of the Girl would recognize “galvanizing worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”  In celebration of this day, the United Nations holds the Girls Speak Out Summit, bringing together girls and girl-serving organizations to share resources, and help advance the Girls’ Rights Movement.  October 11, 2013 marked the second annual Day of the Girl Summit.

The Brave Girls Alliance

One of the organizations invited to attend the Girls Speak Out Summit was the Brave Girls Alliance, a global think tank of organizations and individuals dedicated to and passionate about supporting girls’ empowerment and eliminating the sexualization and exploitation of young women in the media.  To celebrate the International Day of the Girl, the Brave Girls Alliance raised $25,000 to showcase supportive, proactive, and positive #BraveGirlsWant –themed tweets on ABC’s Disney Digital Billboard in Times Square.  The tweets were showcased to run for 7 days, starting on October 11th.  The extraordinary women of the Brave Girls Alliance headed to New York City to not only participate in the Girls Speak Out Summit, but to also celebrate these incredible positive messages being flashed for 1.5 million pedestrians per day to see.

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The Girls Speak Out Summit

The Girls Speak Out Summit at the United Nations was an absolute dream-come-to to attend. The program included presentations of six girl activists ranging in age from 13 to 17 years old, and from places such as Mozambique, USA, Algeria, Burkina Faso, and Guatemala. Each of these young women brought inspiring and empowering stories to the Summit.  Their amazing initiatives focused on topics ranging from early marriage, rights violations, and education of girls to raising money to purchase 60 bikes for girls in the village of Boulsa in Burkina Faso for the sake of safe transportation to school and places far away to get clean water and food for their families.  Respondents to each of the girls’ presentations were nine world-renown United Nations representatives who hold titles such as the Ambassador of Turkey, the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, the Ambassador of Peru, and the First Lady of Peru.

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Why is this important?

While I attended the Girls Speak Out Summit and learned a great deal about the importance of the International Day of the Girl, I am, by no means an expert in this area.  However, I did meet a powerful young leader named Katy Ma who knows much more than I do.  Katy is currently a senior at Central Buck High School West in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and contributor to the Huffington Post.  In her article, “What is the International Day of the Girl Child?” she reports current statistics in support of the need for the International Day of the Girl: on this planet, there are 66 million girls out of school (UNESCO), a girl has a 1 in 4 chance of being born into poverty (The World Bank), and 33 fewer girls than boys are enrolled in primary school (Education First).

My Personal Thoughts

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Youth empowerment and youth-led initiatives are two causes I am incredibly passionate about. I firmly believe that youth have the ability and the creativity to change the world and because of this, I try to work with youth as much as I can. It was through MyKindnessCounts that the Brave Girls Alliance kindly contacted me to ask both me and my website to be official partners with their organization.  Due to their focus on empowering youth and protecting young girls, I excitedly signed on.  I am incredibly grateful that I had an opportunity to attend the Girls Speak Out Summit with the Alliance, and I look forward to supporting the Brave Girls Alliance and the International Day of the Girl for years to come.

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Encouraging you to send in what you’re doing!! :)

October 19th, 2013 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts - (0 Comments)

Super quick message from me!  Keep sending in your initiatives! :)

Hello!

October 17th, 2013 | Posted by Jessica in Videos - (0 Comments)

October is…

October 6th, 2013 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts - (0 Comments)

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

What are you doing to raise awareness?  Email us your ideas (jessica@mykindnesscounts.com)

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stopbullying.gov

Fantastic Resources:

LGBT: GLSEN, The Trevor Project

Preventing Violence: It Can Happen Here

Documentaries: Submit the Documentary, The Bully Project

Books: Baffle that Bully

Other Resources: StopBullying.gov

MKC Updates & New Partnerships

September 9th, 2013 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts - (0 Comments)

Happy September!

We’ve had a ton going on behind the scenes these past few months and I’m super excited to share these updates with you guys.

1. As you may have noticed in the sidebar on the right, we are now partners with and proudly supporting Submit the Documentary. You may remember that we did a review of the film before it came out last March. If you didn’t get a chance to read our review, you can find it here.  Submit the Documentary, the film, is an extraordinary look into cyber bullying.  Equally as wonderful, the website serves as a fantastic resource, providing information on how to go about reporting cyber bullying. Go to the links to see what I’m talking about and click here to find out about viewing the documentary.

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2. Melissa Wardy, of Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies and Brave Girls Want, recently emailed us to see if MyKindnessCounts.com would be interested in partnering with Brave Girls Want as part of the newly formed Brave Girls Alliance.  This is something we’re super excited about.  The Brave Girls Alliance is a powerhouse think tank and advocacy group of all-stars in the girl power space designed to aggregate our communities and our voices so that corporations, media creators, and retailers can understand how important it is to send out positive, empowering message for and about girls.  Starting on 10/11, the UN’s International Day of the Girl, Brave Girls Want will be flashing girl-positive messages for 7 days on the jumbotron in Times Square. Awesome!

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3.  You may know that while in Connecticut, I served on the Board of GLSEN Connecticut.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, GLSEN is The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.  It’s a national organization aimed at creating safe schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.  What’s really exciting is that Tucson also has a chapter and I’m now serving as Volunteer Coordinator on the Board of GLSEN Tucson.  I’ve been a huge supporter of GLSEN for years, so I’m really excited to get involved in the community here.  I’ve actually already attended a meeting to brainstorm ideas on a Trans-themed workshop for teachers and educators here in the city.  If you’re interested in finding a GLSEN chapter in your state, let me know!

GLSEN Tucson

4. Outside of my work with GLSEN, I also serve on the Board of It Can Happen Here, a volunteer-based movement committed to reducing violence in our country by inspiring others to take action in their own hometowns and on the national level in the areas of bullying, education, gun safety, mental healthcare, parenting and poverty.  I, of course, mostly deal with the issue of bullying, but my interests also fall into the education, mental healthcare, and parenting areas as well.  What’s really exciting is that we’ve created a group called the ICHH Teen Coalition, which as of right now, is a Facebook group.  The ICHH Teen Coalition was established to unite the youth of our nation around the issue of violence prevention.  I’ve been put in charge of leading this group, so if any of you guys are interested in working with us, please let me know or go here and sign up!

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5. MyKindnessCounts.com is now an official “Champion Against Bullying” on PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center‘s website.  You can find us next to the Arizona tab (since we recently moved from CT to AZ).  What’s really cool about PACER is that they’ve organized and listed a bunch of anti-bullying initiatives and activities that are promoting Anti-Bullying Month, October 2013.  We’re really honored to be included with all of these other incredible organizations.  Check out PACER’s website for a ton of awesome resources and information about bullying in the United States.

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I think that’s it for now!  We may have a few more partnerships coming within the next few weeks, so I’ll update as those come to fruition.  If you have any questions, or would like more info, let me know!