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MATT
A film about the power of never giving up

Posted: 6/3/2014

This is a film about MATT who was given a 5% chance of survival at birth. Not only has he survived but he has become an inspiration for an entire community

Matthew Tapia was born 3 months pre-mature, a mere 1.5 pounds. Doctors gave him a 5% chance of survival, and if he was able to defy the odds he would barely be able to speak or even walk. 18 years later, Matt is a senior at Santa Monica High School. Gregarious and defiant, Matt has used his stubbornness to not only survive but put himself on track to attend college next year. Matt is a huge sports fan and dreams of being a play by play guy one day. Heading into his senior year, Matt took advantage of an opportunity offered to him by a brave coach and some open minded kids, and joined the football team. Matt didn't miss a practice all year. The indomitable spirit and positive attitude that Matt exuded inspired a team in search of an identity. They rallied around Matt, made him part of the team, and hung out with him after school. For a kid who battled a stigma of mental illness his whole life, he had now found a band of brothers he can call family. The team had a winning season and marched into the 2nd round of the playoffs, but this season was about more than wins and losses, it was about overcoming obstacles.

Copyright Diesel Films Inc.

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Matt encourages everyone to support the National Bullying Prevention Center. He believes all kids should be given the opportunities that he's been able to take advantage of, regardless of the challenges they face. Matt wants all kids to be empowered and included and not bullied. Sign up at Matt, The Film website or to honor Matt and the film donate directly on PACER’s website.

Learn More
Website: http://www.mattthefilm.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MATTTheFilm

Matt, is a Diesel Films, Inc. original short about the power of never giving up. Diesel Films is a Santa Monica creative agency that creates compelling content for the some of the biggest brands in the world. Diesel stands by its philosophy of BELIEVE, CREATE, & INSPIRE.

Interview with Executive Producer Seth Shapiro, an Emmy Award winning creative that has worked for and with some of the biggest names in the world of sports and entertainment. Shapiro just collected his 2nd Emmy Award for his Senior Producer role with NFL UP! the innovative fitness activation from NFL.com. Shapiro has fostered the growth of Diesel Films, who has worked with 50 Fortune 500 companies, producing some of their highest rated work to date.

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A film about the power of never giving up

 

WALK IT OFF FOR CHARITY

Posted: 5/23/2014

The following is an interview with Devon Kungas, who in the summer of 2014 will be walking across America to raise money for bullying prevention.

Your walk is titled “walk it off for charity.” What is the inspiration for the name?
The title is based on an old saying: "walk it off." When I was a child and I got hurt, I heard people say "just walk it off." I thought it was a fun, little play on words to show what I am doing and what I am doing it for.

What is the goal for your walk?
My main goal is enjoy the open road. Be free. To find and see things I have never seen before. If I can make money for PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, then I’ll be even happier.

What motivated you to make the decision to do this?
I got tired of living a boring life as a dishwasher and not feeling fulfilled. I have always wanted to go on this kind of adventure and thought now was the best time to do it.

How would you define success?
Success to me is the feeling you get at the end of the day knowing you did something good.

Connect with Devon on Facebook and watch progress at facebook.com/WalkItOffForCharity

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Shine Bullying Prevention

Posted: 5/14/2014

Madison Cantwell knows what it’s like to be bullied. And she’s determined to prevent it from happening to anyone else. After winning the title of Miss Heart of the Ozarks International, Madison has visited schools, created a Facebook page, and gotten her community involved in Unity Day. She even created a pageant, Little Miss and Miss Belle, to benefit PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center – and raised over $1,000! The students Madison speaks to are truly touched by her efforts, her listening ear, and her story.

“I personally suffered through bullying for about 6 years or so, and it is without a doubt the most haunting experience I have ever been through. Not only did I go through this myself, I also witnessed my best friend face the same tribulation. I have been surrounded by verbal, physical, and cyber bullying for most of my school years. Even when it wasn't happening to me or a close friend, it was most definitely still present. Bullying breaks my heart, and it has left the deepest scars in me. Throughout my bullying prevention adventures, I have heard so many stories and had so many children and adults confide in me. I've had children tell me that I have given them the courage to tell their teacher about what's happening to them at school. I've had teens tell me I've given them hope even during a time that seems so dark, nearing the point of suicidal thoughts. I even had one parent come to me in tears after I spoke at an event, thanking me for speaking out because so many people in this world are afraid to do so; his son attempted suicide because of bullying last December, and he called his son over to come and talk with me a while, and it was one of the most beautiful things to be able to be a positive ray of light for someone who is struggling to that extent. After everything I've been through, I feel that is is my duty to make sure that no one else ever has to endure the same terrible things. Every life I change, every smile I bring to a victim's face, every attitude towards bullying that I change makes my broken heart and those deep scars so very worth the pain.

“I’ve spoken at several different schools in Northwest Arkansas about bullying, read bullying prevention stories (including The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin) to children at the library, spoken at various events in Northwest Arkansas, encouraged my friends and family to wear orange on Unity Day, and hosted my own fundraising pageant (Little Miss and Miss Belle 2014) to benefit PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. I hand out PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center’s bookmarks wherever I can, and I’ve started my own Facebook page, SHINE Bullying Prevention. Through these endeavors, I have raised $1,000 for PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which I will be withdrawing from the online fundraising site soon in order to place my donation. The young woman who won my bullying prevention pageant is a victim of bullying herself, and she and I are planning events together for the near future. We just recently spoke to about 280 elementary school students and then to the 5th and 6th graders of a local school. Miss Belle was moved to tears as she talked about her experiences with bullying. The response the children had to our message absolutely blew me away. We really got through to them, and that will never stop filling me with amazement and providing me with hope for a bully-free future.”

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Be a Friend, Bring a Friend, Make a Friend

Posted: 1/24/2014

For her 11th birthday party, Anistyn thought big…and kind! Anistyn held a Be a Friend, Bring a Friend, Make a Friend party, to which she invited everyone in her middle school for music, dancing, and food – all created by kids and teens! Anistyn remembers her mom telling her that for every one mean person, there are ten more that are nice. So Anistyn made the theme of her party: “When we stand together, no one stands alone.” About a new friend who has a disability, Anistyn writes, “No one was laughing at Estelle or making fun of her when she got on stage and sang along. We had fun helping her and being nice to her. This was one of my favorite parts of the entire night because I realized how fun it is to be friends with people who are different.” To top it all off, Anistyn gave up her birthday presents this year in order to donate to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. She and her friends raised over $1,300 to help kids who have been bullied! Read more.

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Tri-City United Schools Inspire Basketball Fans

Posted: 1/22/2014

Tri-City United High School’s Gay Straight Alliance wanted to raise awareness of bullying at their school in a way that would get their classmates fired up about the issue. Knowing that their school’s basketball team was popular on and off the court, these students decided to link bullying prevention and basketball in one big awareness-raising event. Before the game, the GSA sold white t-shirts for the “White Out” games and donated the proceeds to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. At the game, fans signed a banner to pledge their support of bullying prevention. After half time, players ran through another banner to signify busting out of bullying. Whether their team won or lost, these students had great success in raising awareness of bullying in their community. Read more.

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