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Ways to Be There: Community Involvement - Episode 20

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7:29 minWays to Be There: Community Involvement - Episode 20

Ways to Be There: Community Involvement - Episode 20

In this week’s episode, we are thrilled to have an interview with Olivia and Jane, who have made an amazing impact in their community around the issue of bullying prevention. This mother-daughter duo shares their story about how they got involved in this issue, as well as ideas about how to get involved in your community.

  • Author: NBPC
  • Duration: 7:29 minutes
  • Date Posted: 1/24/2018

Series: PACERTalks About Bullying - Season 1

We are so excited to be launching our brand new series, PACERTalks About Bullying, where each week we will be talking about all things bullying. In our first episode, we’ll share more about PACER Center and what we do.


Hey there! Welcome back to PACER talks about bullying, I'm Bailey, we're glad you're here.

In this weeks' episode, we are so excited to have an interview with 17-year-old Olivia, and her mom Jane to share their story about how Olivia became an advocate for bullying prevention and has expired those in her community to get involved. We first me this mother, daughter duo three years ago when Olivia joined PACER's Youth Advisory Board. Olivia had experienced bullying, and her mom Jane reached out to PACER. Since then, Olivia has become an amazing advocate for the issue, and has publicly shared her story with others. She's done interviews for articles and radio shows, MCed PACERS Run, Walk, Roll against Bullying. And even inspired her own nonprofit, Raise Your Crown, which inspires pageant participants to get involved and use their voice for bullying prevention. Now, let's get into the episode. So, for this weeks' episode I am here with Olivia and Jane, thank so much for being here.



So, my first question for you is, how did you guys first get involved with bullying prevention, and tell us a little bit about what you're doing?

I got bullied, and was getting really kind of sick of it, so I wanted to do something in my community, but I didn't know how to do it. So, I kind of really relied on my mom for that, because I was only 13 at the time. And she kind of came up with the name, and then we decided we wanted to do a thing where we do pictures of like, girls -- I was doing parents at the time. So, of like, girls raising their crown against bullying.

Raise Your Crown Against Bullying is a nonprofit organization that both me and my daughter started together after she was being bullied in elementary school. And part of it started because her self-esteem was getting really low, and she was kind of down on herself, and she wanted to find something that would make her feel better. And she decided to do a pageant, which I had never thought we would get involved in parents at all. And it just gave her an opportunity to get on stage, and in fact, at the time, I decided I would do it too. And so, we kind of both got that experience of standing in front of a crowd and being able to just kind of be who we are. And after she won her title, we sat there, and we thought, what can we do with this? And the big thing is, is that we wanted to help with bullying. So, we came up with the idea of Raise Your Crown. That's something that a person can do to just show that they are in support of anti-bullying and being kind to everybody else. And, so we started to have girls take pictures with -- raising their crown against bullying. And we got as far as Ireland even. So, it's just a really cool thing, and it's a really easy thing to do. So, people can just stand up and say that, "I want the world to be a better place and quit bullying." So --

That's amazing. So, you mentioned you've had people from all over the world, all the way from Ireland, send you in pictures of raising your crown. And I think that just shows the importance of community involvement around this. And so, I want to hear from you both, why do you think community involvement is so important in bullying prevention?

Well, I think that one of the biggest things when you're being bullied is that you feel that you're all alone. And that it doesn't happen to anybody else, and you've got nobody to help you stand up and be confident, and not feel like you're going to be bullied all the time. And the more people that you have stand around you together who say, "We're going to put an end to this", I just think it gets the message out there that bullying's not okay. It's important to be a community involvement, because without that you can't really end it.

Absolutely. And one thing that we hear a lot is there's been kind of this norm around bullying that it's just a part of growing up, or it's a rite of passage. And I think, like you were saying, when the whole community gets involved, that really sends the message that this isn't something we're going to stand for.

Yeah. I mean, there's going to be mean words, but bullying just in general is not okay.

I think one of the most important things is that, as kind of devastating that bullying was for when Olivia experienced it, and she experienced it for many years, it was never that horrible bullying that you hear about on social media.


It was just being left out, or someone whispering something in her ear, but it wasn't -- it was something that seems like it really wouldn't be a big deal. But, actually, just the constant negativity that you get from somebody else can just rip your heart out. And it's really hard to come from that.

Well, good thing that you're not alone.

It's -- I'm still working on my self-confidence, and trying to become a better version of myself that I always can be. But, bullying really affected me, because I believed it wasn't okay for me to be myself. And my still learning to accept myself for who I am to this day. I wouldn't say I would never want to be bullied, or I would want that part of me erased, because that made me who I am today. It made me a stronger and better person, and it made me someone who's not afraid to speak up for other kids who are getting bullied. Because, if I wasn't getting bullied, I wouldn't think it's as serous of an issue, went really is a huge issue.

So, what I really love about both of you is that you took such a painful experience with bullying, and turned it into a movement that impacts individuals all across the world, and really gives them a tangible way to get involved. So, what advice or what tips would you have for someone that's looking to get involved in the issue of bullying prevention? Whether it's participating in an event, or starting something on their own?

A big thing I would say is start off with is, not standing up for someone who you see is getting bullying. That doesn't even necessarily mean that you're going up to the bully and saying, "You should stop." That could be just supporting the person, or telling a teacher, because the person's not willing to a teacher. Or telling the principal, or something that's just standing up for them, because sometimes they don't have a strong enough voice to do that.

I think what's the most important is to find something you have a passion about. So, if you want to do something that is promoting bullying prevention and awareness, you can do it in so many ways. You could do it specifically bullying, but you could also get involved in other things that promote inclusivity, kindness, love. We've had other people who are inspired by what Olivia did, and then they'll reach out to us and tell us, you know, what they did in their community. Maybe some of them do a, you know, a cookie fundraiser. maybe some of them sit and hand out bookmarks from PACER. Somebody got involved in the , making the Buddy Benches, the most important thing is that you find what you connect with. So, there's so many ways that you can build in your community and have people feel love and kindness, and feel connected. And just do it in your own way, no way is the wrong way, every way is the right way. So, just go out there and make a difference, and just make sure whenever you're seeing some little kid sitting at a table all by themselves, go over there and talk to that person, and just kind of bring them into the fold. And do it in your own way, that's the best way.

Make them feel like they belong and that they're wanted, because in the end of the day, that's what we really want.

Absolutely. And I think that is a great note to wrap this thing up on. Thank you so much for being on this episode, and sharing all your amazing insight, and advice with everyone I know. Everyone watching this really just loved this video, I don't' really need to say. So, join us right back here next week, and remember, together we can all help create a world without bullying. Bye.