Walk a Mile in my Shoes…

February 20th, 2012 | Posted by Jessica in Thoughts | Your Voices - (1 Comments)

Via Twitter, I recently connected with a 19 year old girl from South Africa named BillyJean (@2gedawecan). I don’t remember who followed who first, but upon reading the description she had written of herself, I knew I had to feature her. For some background info on BillyJean, she describes herself by saying: Up and coming npo (non profit organization) focusing on restoring and uplifting, educating people in a holistic manner, aspiring motivational speaker, empathy is the key to non-judgmental understanding.

She sounds like a cool girl, right? Well, she is! I asked if she would write me up a post about what inspired her to become a motivational speaker and what experiences gave her the drive to develop an organization. Luckily for us, she had a TON of great things to say. While she has been through some tough times, she understands that these times have shaped who she is today and who she would like to be in the future, especially when it comes to helping others. This is the post I received back:

There are many reasons (why I decided to become a motivational speaker and develop a non-profit organization): I was verbally abused. People felt that it didn’t count as abuse, but it does. I was also put down a lot because I’m a plus size girl, but this motivates me so much because we are all human and we deserve to be treated better. I used to feel so terrible when I would eat in front of other people because I wanted to act like, “I don’t get hungry.” That’s what I thought those people thought about me.

I  feel that the society we live in has a big impact on children’s lives. Kids won’t care anymore if they don’t have proper role models. Some fall pregnant in their first year of high school. Often times they lose their goals and objectives and instead, just go with the flow. Kids don’t stand up for what they believe anymore and that’s why I feel somebody needs to restore hope. These issues kids are dealing with like teen pregnancy and other problems are not just problems that are easily fixed. They go emotionally and physically deeper, so we need to reach people not just from their behavior, but from what caused the behavior.

(Regarding current anti-bullying programs/initiatives): To tell you the truth, children need people they can relate to, people who have been thru what they have been thru. The age difference between adults and kids is very important. Don’t have a 40 year old tell a 16 year old that they went through the same thing. Usually young people listen to people, for example, who have went thru bullying, but also made it thru and became a success. For myself, I would feel that if he/she can overcome bullying, so can I. Teachers and adults don’t understand because each generation is different.

(Regarding the good she is doing right now): I am a student nurse, I do volunteer work, I do peer counseling, and home-based care. I started my non-profit organization because I feel people need proper guidance, comfort, and education on prevention. My non-profit organization is different than others because I’m focusing on restoring people from the INSIDE out, with GOD’s guidance.

Thank you.

I encourage you to leave BillyJean a comment. Maybe you have had a similar experience to BillyJean or have thought similar things about various personal struggles, anti-bullying programs, or the good you want to do in the world… Thank you so much, BillyJean!

You can follow BillyJean on Twitter here! :)

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