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Teen NASCAR driver races to stop bullying

October 2016 was a very busy time for 15-year-old NASCAR driver Mandy Chick! She is a third-generation racer in her family, and currently races each week at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Mo. This year, she earned the title of Missouri State Rookie of the Year!

On Oct. 1, Mandy and her parents, Jennifer and Steve, visited Minnesota to support PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month. They were special guests at PACER’s Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying, where Mandy signed postcards and showed off her #23 Pro Late Model race car. She has also added the logo of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to the hood of the car!

After her visit to Minnesota, Mandy visited three different elementary schools in Kansas and spoke with more than 900 students about spreading kindness. Mandy and a friend experienced bullying when they were in fourth grade and reached out to a trusted teacher to help them. During that time, Mandy felt afraid and lacked self-confidence.

The situation was resolved, but Mandy knew it was important for her to help others who were in the same situation. Her message includes how important it is to tell an adult and how self-confidence is loving yourself for who you are.

During her visit with the elementary students, she asked them to turn to each other and say, “You matter to me.” One of the schools held an assembly that ended with a "March Against Bullying" around the whole school. Mandy said it was so cool!

At all of these schools, Mandy was able to share Kids Against Bullying bookmarks and other National Bullying Prevention Center materials. The younger kids really liked the Classroom Activity Book. Mandy has two more schools lined up and one scheduled all the way into March.

“I think this thing is building! I can't wait,” Mandy says. “With your help at PACER, I feel more confident in my ability to speak to students and have used the speech that the PACER staff helped me proofread and edit. I especially appreciated that help and the information I can use from the website.”

Mandy is a leader! Her school work and her racing career are important, but she also knows that her community is important, too. She has a campaign called “Race to Stop Bullying” and will use her speed on the track to help kids realize that bullying can deeply affect self-confidence. She can offer tools for how to deal with bullying and build confidence.

“I challenge you to be kind to everyone you encounter,” Mandy says, “because you will get so much farther in life if you are nice to everyone.”