Bullying has become such a headline issue in the past few years as troubled kids trouble others. Bridging the Gap for Hope (Facebook page: here) is an organization that aids at-risk youth to become leaders and dreamers. The organization created the “Don’t Be A Bully Conference” as a way to workshop directly with teens about how to create positive relationships within themselves and with others. Last weekend, I was lucky enough to have participated as a mentor (& performed a couple of songs) at the latest “Don’t Be A Bully Conference.” I cannot express how inspired I was to become a better person and how much I really wish programs like this were around when I was in high school.
The statement that rang with so much truth that day was that bullying is a mere symptom of issues that are much deeper within the bully. I am so happy that these kids have a program such as this because being a kid/teenager is not easy these days. We grow up constantly being bombarded by the media with standards of beauty that are unobtainable and ideas of what is considered acceptable. Most teens and kids are in the midst of figuring out who they are and these ads often target these demographic by defining what trends are cool and what features are considered beautiful. All the while, kids and teens begin ignoring the one thing that they’re searching for: acceptance of themselves.
I was so incredibly touched by the end of the conference to hear what these teens had learned in the workshops. Many of the lessons mentioned used words like “loving myself” or “compassion,” “love each other.” The thought of these teens gaining self-worth and acceptance of themselves had me tearing up…making it a tad difficult for me to sing and close out the conference.
Please, anything you can do to support this organization would help, whether it’s donating money or volunteering time or even a share on Facebook. Here are some photos from the event! Another conference coming up on November 1st!