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”

 

 

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 Meet 14 year old, Eduardo Solis from California: 

Eduardo, @EndBullyingNow

My name is Eduardo. I am 14 years old. & this is my story.  I’m good at faking a smile & pretending that I’m ok.  I was 8 years old when it started.  At first it wasn’t that hurtful. They just called me “Four eyes” & stuff.  Once 3rd grade year finished, my family & I moved to Houston, Texas.  It was really amazing!  But school wasn’t.  I was the new kid who didn’t have any friends.  I really didn’t have anyone to talk to during lunch.  One day, a teacher called me a “chicken” for not wanting to participate in singing.  That teacher didn’t know is that I was shy.  REALLY shy.  After she called me “chicken” some girl started calling me the same name.  Then after one month living in Texas, my parents decided to move back to California. Again, a new school.  But this new school was WAY better than the other two schools.  I really didn’t get bullied in this school. 2 years went by where I didn’t get bullied.  But then middle school came along.  6th grade was the worse year EVER.  Everyday I was bullied by this kid.  Whenever he saw me, he kicked me, tried to trip me, pushed me, & called me names.  I remember when my English teacher changed the sitting arrangement & she sat me in the worse sit ever. I was sitting in front of my bully. When the teacher wasn’t looking, he would kick me.  That is how cowardly he was.  I was afraid to tell any teacher because I thought it would only get worse.  I stayed strong that entire year.  Once 6th grade ended, 7th grade came along.  At first, I thought it was going to be an awesome year because I had new classmates!  But I was wrong.  One day, a guy called me a horrible name (I’m not going to say the name they called me.).  Then his 2 other friends started calling me that same name.

In the past, I would go home where I could just be happier than at school, not until my parents started to fight a lot.  Then came that day, when my mom found out my dad was cheating.  My dad then left the house, but still visited & stuff.  I always thought “Why does this happen to me?  Why coudn’t happen to someone else?” I just couldn’t take it anymore & one day I was in my room.  I was thinking a lot.  I cried & I just felt that if I died no one would care.  I told my parents about this & they helped me.  I was 12 years old when this happened.

After that day, I decided that it was time to stand up for myself.  I wrote a letter to my teacher that I trusted the most. I wrote her a letter because I was going to cry in front of her & I just didn’t want that.  So, in the letter I told her what was going on.  I gave her the letter in the morning, then in the afternoon she talked to the bully.  I remember her saying to the bully “How DARE you tell him that?”  After that day, I never got bullied in the 7th grade.  I was so grateful that I had her as a teacher.  She was truly an amazing teacher.

During summer vacation, I did something that I will NEVER regret.  I created this account on September 2, 2011. When summer vacation ended, I went back to school.  It was my 8th grade year.  My last year of middle school.  This year was really bad for me.  I was having bad grades, some girl told me that I created fake accounts on twitter to follow myself, & my parents were still fighting.  Then one day, I just had a horrible day at school & after school I was determined to cut myself.  I just wanted to have friends & someone to talk to.  While I was walking to my house (determined to self harm) I heard the most amazing song called “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato.  When I heard this song for the first time, I cried because It was something that I could relate to.  Hearing this song made & still makes me feel good about myself.  It gives me hope.  I always imagine singing this song to my bullies.  One day, a kid from school posted on my Facebook wall saying “I hate you” ,”Go get friends.”  Then at the end he told me, “I’m just bored. That’s why I’m doing this.”  What he doesn’t know is that those word hurt.  

During those dark days, I just wanted someone to be there for me.  Someone I could talk to.  Because of my bullies, I felt insecure about myself.  Sometimes I still feel insecure.  But now, I realize that their words shouldn’t mean anything to me & that the bad things that have happened to me have only made me stronger.  I have stayed strong for a long time & I keep staying strong.   I know that the bad things that have happened to me, are the things that made me stronger.  On June 15, 2012 I graduated from middle school.  Then, in August I’m entering high school!  I am nervous to enter high school.  I hope I meet good people & I don’t have bullies in my life.  Anyways, I am sharing my story because if there’s anyone that is struggling with the issues that I went through, to let them know that they are NOT alone.  Suicide & self harming are not the answers to your problems!  Please Stay Strong<3 & know that it WILL get better! One day. I just want to thank Demi Lovato, Ellen Degeneres, Kelly Clarkson, Shane Dawson, Bree Essrig, & my followers for helping me & making me smile!

Follow Eduardo’s AMAZING Twitter account @EndBullyinNow

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“Dilly’s Dog’s Disguises” By: Emma Andrews

Emma Andrews, an author from the UK, recently sent me her book “Dilly’s Dog’s Disguises” to feature on MyKindnessCounts. After going to Emma’s website to learn more, I felt this story of six-year-old Dilly, who, diagnosed with cerebral palsy and her special helper, Dotty, would be a great addition to MyKindnessCounts. “Dilly’s Dog’s Disguises” is a particularly special story because Emma Andrews was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy and was taunted by classmates for years. I love that Emma is using her personal experiences to take a stand against bullying. 

“Dilly’s Dog’s Disguises” tells the story of six year old girl named Dilly who is picked on at school by some of her classmates for walking differently. Dilly has cerebral palsy and from an early age, her parents have assured her that her disability makes her special and unique. However at school, the other children whisper, point, and snicker at her as she walks down the hallway, leaving Dilly upset and fearful of school.

One night after talking to her parents about the mean boys and girls, she lays in bed crying. Dilly’s mother gives her some suggestions on how to handle the bullies, including relying on their family dog, Dotty. Dilly and Dotty make a pact that whenever Dilly is made fun of at school, Dotty will come to the rescue and help Dilly learn how to speak up and tell an adult. The book takes the reader through Dilly’s various activities, including interactions with mean peers as she is swimming, in the lunch line, at painting class, and as she eats lunch on a bench with another friend. Each time Dilly experiences problems with mean classmates, she calls to Dotty who magically appears disguised as an adult to remind the others students that school is for everyone.

One of the things I liked most about Emma Andrew’s, “Dilly’s Dog’s Disguises” was that she took the reader through various contexts where Dilly faced problems. Through the adorable illustrations you see Dilly’s interactions with other children who are bullied and with her parents as she tells them her struggles.  I also really enjoyed the magical, imaginative piece in which Dotty comes to her rescue when she needs a good friend and also reminds Dilly’s peers that school is for everyone and people should be kind to one another.

Overall, I thought the book was a great read and one that a young child could easily identify with. As I got to the end of the story, the only piece I thought was missing was Dilly learning how to better deal with the bullies, especially as a child with a disability. While her dog coming to the rescue was a good way to give Dilly a positive solution and friend to talk to, I wish that Dotty could have been able to teach Dilly a little more about dealing with her peers.  Maybe this could be a Part 2! :) However, Dilly is a six year old girl and perhaps a parent would simply want someone their child could identify with rather than a “how to solve a problem” aspect to the story.

Thanks very much for sharing your story with us, Emma! I loved it! :)

Looking to buy “Dilly’s Dog’s Disguises”?  Click here or go to Emma Andrew’s website.

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 Brittany is a St. Louis, Missouri high school freshman.  Outside of her life as a normal teenagers, she also runs the extremely popular Twitter account, @StayStrongItsOk, with nearly 14,500 followers.  Using Twitter, Brittany works really hard to raise awareness about self-harm, mental health issues, and bullying.  I have been following Brittany’s account for awhile and am consistently blown away by her efforts to connect with each and every one of her followers by providing constant support and encouragement.  Posting words of encouragement and inspirational photos and sayings, she is a wonderful role model for her followers.

Read what Brittany sent exclusively to MyKindnessCounts.com about what has inspired her to do the work she does.  To learn more about Brittany and how her experiences have shaped the work she is now doing, go to her blog here.

I’m Brittany, some of you may know me as @StayStrongItsOk on twitter. Either way, I’m just like you. I go through some of the same things as you. One of those things is bullying. I’ve had my fair share of experience with it, believe me. I am currently writing my full story, and I am going to share it, once it is completed. But until then, I wanted to share one experience with you all: When I was in 6th grade, (not limited to just 6th grade), I was called really mean names, told I was ugly, and even got threatened. This was being done by both girls and boys. I didn’t understand what I had done to deserve this. It continued happening. School principals and other adults wouldn’t help me. They’d ask the kids doing it, about it, and of course they denied it. Eventually the adults started to see that this was really happening to me and tried putting a stop to it. Long story short, It was a really bad time in my life. But now, I refuse to let them keep me silent. I will stand up for myself, and what I believe in, even if it means standing alone. I am going to do whatever I can to stop bullying and help people cope with it. I have the twitter account @staystrongitsok, and there I do just that. Like I said before, I am currently writing my story, so stay in touch to know why I do the things I do. And most of all, stay strong. – Brittany

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Meet Bria and Chrissy, two young women who not only are immensely talented, but also a powerful social-rights promoting couple. Cool, right?  I was introduced to their music via a Facebook anti-bullying group and they were kind enough to do a post for us!  I just love their confidence and what they stand for.  They recently recorded an anti-bullying song and I’m so glad they were willing to have me promote it on MKC.

Here is what they’d like to say to MyKindnessCounts.com:

BriaAndChrissy are a lesbian duo who are dating each other, we make videos to inspire change,  so we address multiple issues. Bria is 26, from Atlanta, Georgia and Chrissy is 22 from Clinton, Mississippi, we both currently live in Atlanta. We are fighting many fights, but we have a large part of our hearts in the LGBT struggle. We began our videos responding to the Chick-Fil-A issue and started gaining a small following; from there we were inspired to help make a difference in the world, and the video ideas started flowing.

Bullying is never ok, whether it is toward the gay youth or the straight, and we specifically generalized our anti-bully video to reiterate that bullying is never ok.  We hope we can inspire people through music, we have so much passion in what we are doing and we hope people see that and feel the desire to spread the same passion. 

Check out BriaAndChrissy on Twitter and YouTube :)

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Bullying & Boys

November 2nd, 2012 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts | Your Voices - (2 Comments)

Mean Girls, the movie, became a social-phenomenon back around 2004 and still continues to be eight years later. The movie is often referenced in both the media and amongst many female groups of friends. While it is a wildly entertaining film, it also brings attention to how incredibly horrible girls can make middle school and high school for one another.

Interestingly, bullying amongst teen boys is often not as widely recognized.  It could be because boys are often less likely to talk about being bullied than girls are, which I personally can attest to from the MKC emails I receive.  Of course, we do know that boys can and do get bullied just like girls do, but maybe the lack of presence male bullying has in the media makes it harder for them to talk about their struggles.

I recently came across the website, NoBystanders.me, where the young men of Ontario’s Robert Land Academy have all taken the pledge to both not bully others and to speak up when they see bullying occurring. The following description of their campaign is from their website:

Bullies rule others through meanness and manipulation. Their behaviour can be aggressive, spiteful, and nasty. And if we let them get away with it, that is the world we are choosing to live in.

But bullying can also be stopped. More often than not, when someone intervenes, bullying stops within 10 seconds. Cyberbullying can be stopped too.

Each of us has taken this pledge to ourselves and to the world. Each of us has said:

“I will not be a bystander. I will not look away and pretend it’s not happening.

I will speak up when I see someone being bullied or know they are being cyberbullied. I will encourage others to speak up too. And we will make the bully the outsider.

And if it is something I cannot handle on my own, I will tell someone. I will get help if I need it because I know I do not have to do it alone.

Bullying may start with someone else. But it stops with me.”

And you.

And a promise to take a stand against bullying. And not be a bystander. 

Click HERE to add your name to Robert Land Academy’s petition and campaign against bullying.

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Mikayla says, Be Yourself

October 31st, 2012 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts | Your Voices - (0 Comments)

Meet Mikayla, a 16 year old high school student from Virginia who runs the very popular and helpful Twitter account, @BeYourself_x0.  Thanks SO much for sharing your story, Mikayla! :)

I’ve been bullied my whole life, but it didnt get bad until 9th grade. I was going through alot of stress that year, and I gained alot of weight during the summer. So when I got to school I was a lot bigger then most of the girls. I got bullied constantly about my weight. Girls were always calling me fat & talking about how huge my hips were. & then they got their friends to join in & I honestly felt like everyone was against me. The girls never really did lay off of me, but towards the middle of the school year, I had a few guys start bullying me for it. & They bullied me worse then the girls did. I’d have guys come up behind me when I was walking and make stomping noises, & call me names as I walked. I actually had a few people wait for me to get off the bus just so they could start on me as soon as I got to school. The bullying got so severe that I had to be pulled out of school & be homeschooled. I still am to this day. I never had the nerve to go back to school, just because I was so scared. & I still am. I never wanna re-live my 9th grade year, EVER again. Sometimes I still think about what they said, & think its true. But I’ve come to realize im ALOT better then them. :] and because of that story, I made my Stop Bullying twitter to try to help victims of bullying. So far I’ve stopped 6 girls from hurting themselves & had a few get help for their depression, anxiety, eating disorder, etc.

Ever since I made the Twitter, I’ve felt alot better about myself. What I want to tell everyone is to stay strong, because it really DOES get better. :] www.twitter.com/BeYourself_x0

pic source

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Dance for a Difference

October 22nd, 2012 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts | Your Voices - (1 Comments)

Meet Hanna, a beautiful 13-year-old 8th grade student from New York.  I came across Hanna’s anti-bullying/suicide awareness video on the NY Anti-Bully Movement page. Hanna impressed me on many levels (her courage, her ability to speak out, her ability to find ways to help other people, etc.), but what impressed me most was how articulately she was able to explain the situation of bullying, her frustrations with how the school handled her mother’s complaints, the consequences bullying had on her, AND furthermore, how she thinks our schools can better handle bullying.  Hanna has created an AMAZING website called, DanceForADifference to help children and teens who are being bullied and/or are feeling like they may want to hurt themselves.  Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Hanna, and please check out her website!

Hello, I’m Hanna a 13 year old 8th grade student. I’ve been through more than most kids at my age could even think of. I’ve been bullied since 6th grade. Would you have been able to tell before I told you? Most kids don’t realize what effects bullying has on people. Some kid’s runaway, shut everybody else out, turn to hurting themselves or even attempt suicide such as I tried to do. Through my past experiences I have come to realization that I have the ability to help other children my age who have been affected by bullying.

I’ve been bullied since 6th grade. I did everything I possibly could do to try and fit in. Including cutting my hair, dying it, changing my style of music and clothes, and changing the way I interacted with my family. These girls who bullied me did things like taking my gym clothes and putting them in the toilet…They made up rumors about me and made it impossible for me to make friends. School was supposed to be a place that I could go to, to learn. It was my favorite place to be, until bullies took that away. It was a battle to get myself to go to school each day knowing that throughout the day it would be a struggle. As a result of bullying I attempted suicide less than a month ago. I spent four days and three nights in the hospital. The doctors told me I was going to die the first night. They pumped my stomach and I needed to drink liquid charcoal. My family was by my side the whole time, my huge loud Italian family mushed into a tiny hospital room as they cried and blamed themselves for my attempt. It was never their fault, it was the bullies. My mother contacted the school on several occasions, and the school did absolutely nothing about the situations. They put it off consistently as if I was not as important as other students. I feel like it took my suicide incident to show them that I was there and to really pay attention to bullying in my old school. I now attend a different school in a totally different district. I am now doing several things to help raise awareness about bullying and suicide. I have made videos sharing my story and also sharing awareness of suicide prevention. I made a website danceforadifference.webs.com and started an organization Dance For A Difference that helps children’s teens and young adults who are feeling suicidal or have been bullied. I’m beginning to plan a walk spring of 2013 at the moment a date has not been set, but definitely a Saturday in March or April weather permitting. I’m trying to raise awareness about bullying and suicide prevention because I believe god kept me here today because he has great for me, plans of me helping other people who have gone through things that I have also dealt with. I believe that we as a nation have the ability to make a change in our schools by making our schools address every single case and or complaint about students being bullied, and harassed, and making a school take immediate action. Having severe consequences, not just lunch detention will also help. School’s need to take bullying very seriously, not just ignore the situation until a student does an serious action and gets recognized.

I decided to incorporate dance into my decision to stand up and speak out for the victims who can’t do it themselves. The video below is me, feel free to watch comment like or share. Thanks!

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