God has blessed me so much that even if I can’t make a huge financial impact, I utilize my talents to make a community impact.
Every year I cook, or bake something that I intend to donate. In 2020 I cooked stuffed peppers for a local special needs group home. In 2021 I baked holiday cookies and donated them to a local community program that helped those looking for jobs, shelter, clothing etc.
I can’t stress the importance of giving to others the best way you’re able to.
Partnering up with St. Jude Cancer Research Center has been important to me because I lost a young cousin (Joi Hatcher) to a form of childhood cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma.
I understand losing anyone is heartbreaking, but losing a child brings forth unimaginable grief. I remember how caring, loving and patient those health care professionals were from the beginning to the end of Joi’s fight. Not only was St. Jude’s Hospital a blessing to the patient, but they worked so hard to try to help the families by alleviating any additional stress and worries from the desperate and tired families.
Something about donating and partnering up with a charity dedicated to stop and help with childhood cancer makes her feel like a better human being.
Truth is, cancer of any sort is unexpected and can hit any one of us, or our loved ones at any given time. I pray we all stay safe from it, but if tradegy were to strike, I’d hope St. Jude could still have the resources needed to help patients and families out the way I remember they did when we lost our loved one.
In loving Memory of Joi Hatcher
Breast Cancer —like any cancer comes on unexpectedly and takes us out too soon. It’s important even for me (a teenager) to educate ourselves as much as possible so we can do everything in our power to take the right preventative measures for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s just as important to know what to do and what to expect shall we ever get diagnosed with any stage of breast cancer.
I’m excited to say I will be partnering up with an awesome 100mH Olympian on this task so please be sure to stay tuned and don’t forget to click on the scrolling photo above to obtain more information!
This topic is personal, I was bullied.
Yes, I know it may be hard to believe I was bullied and sometimes it’s hard for me to believe myself I was actually bullied -but I was and because of it I took an interest and vowed to be a bullying advocate. I was determined the time I spent silently coping while trying to be the bigger person was not going to be in vain.
My bullying was not in the physical. Many of you know, I did boxing (see talents & activities) for many years and am trained to defend myself if ever forced to, but of course that‘s not my personality or interest.
I serve God, I’m a child of God that doesn’t mean I’m perfect and doesn’t mean I may not inadvertently offend someone, but one thing I pray I never do is mistreat anyone to the point of feeling bullied. If I ever do, please approach me one on one and let’s work it out. I respect anyone willing to have a one on one honest conversation and moving forward. Side Note: I’m a competitive athlete, please don’t ever confuse that with getting my bully on- I just want to win, put forth my best efforts and defend my titles, or gain new ones and break more records!
The bullying I was experiencing was in the form of groups repetitively doing things intended to hurt me, make me feel excluded, devalued and outnumbered. Often there would be groups of approximately 4-15 individuals (males & females) that would huddle up behind my locker every morning, during breaks and/or after school hours with their arms locked together at times whispering and at times laughing or even saying my name loud enough so I know I was their topic of conversation.
Some of the obvious and deliberate acts they would do were to greet, hug and compliment everyone around me, I was well put together so I did my best to ignore them and knew the problem was them and not me. I got the impression they wanted me to convince myself something was wrong with me, truth was: a lot was right with me and I was their target. They were doing everything in their power to distract me, and/or make me feel less of. Thankfully I know who I am, but no matter how smart, strong or confident you are-this does not feel good. This was not ok and I knew a lot of what they were doing was not ok, but I kept praying God would convict their hearts and thought it would end sooner than later. It continued longer then expected, but I now realize there were lessons to be learned from this. They went on to ignore positive messages or holiday love I would send them on long time group chats. Eventually I left all group chats and also disconnected from them on social medias because they would do similar deliberate acts there too. Big huddles later formulated. Regardless of the obvious, I had no hard feelings. I just needed to focus because I was juggling and excelling in two sports plus achieving good grades.
To make matters worse, these individuals were once my friends for over a year and this all would occur with staff around and a police officer parked outside.
So how did we get to the point of bullying? As mentioned some were my friends and they knew how hard I worked to be a disciplined leader, how hard I worked to stay focused and maintain honorable grades so anytime I didn’t follow their ways or anytime I displayed any level of sole leadership, it made them uncomfortable, in their mindset there was conflict and getting on one accord to hurt me is what they set out to do.
Why would I want to distance myself from my long time friends and wouldn’t I have known it would offend them and cause problems? So as we got older and new people started coming along and joining our group, things didn’t feel so good after a while. For starters: personalities start to change for middle school age teens like myself and then for some insecurities and challenges start to arise. As time went on conversations weren’t so innocent, or positive, many didn’t take school as serious as I did nor did they have much to lose so my outlook and the way I conducted myself was different and stood out. Not to mention I was one of the few modest minorities in the midst of wealthy, privileged caucasians so I unfairly had to work 10x‘s harder to make sure I stayed out of trouble, out of the way and out of the mix.
I quickly realized I myself was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable (not insecure, just out of place because so much felt wrong) being in a big group so I gradually detached myself. I detached myself to be who I am,
While I do well in group and individual settings, this particular group setting no longer felt good, but also I really detached myself to do what was right. They were not bringing forth vibes of being Gods servants, or making good decisions. I knew if they spent time in front of me gossiping about others I knew I had to be their topic at some point or another. They gossiped around me, but would keep it at a minimal because I was the friend who wouldn’t entertain it long. In such a small setting my detachment was noticeable. Even though I separated myself, I was still polite and spoke when spoken to I just didn’t join bigger crowds to feel a part of. I would’ve never guessed how quickly things and people would change, after all I never detached for problems rather to stay focused and stay out of trouble.
It wasn’t long before many stopped speaking to me altogether. Many feared being alone, or not accepted so their desire was to be accepted by a larger crowd even if it meant turning on someone who never did anything to them which would be me. This didn’t feel good. It caused lots of confusion, but I knew I didn’t do anything wrong. I certainly was not willing to bend who I am and what I stand for to be a part of any group. At this point I was disappointed with who I thought these individuals were, what extent they would go and the energy they were willing to spend on being negative and deliberate with giving me or anyone a hard time.
I tried hard not to get my parents involved because I was praying and wanted to be resilient, strong and walk with dignity on my own. I guess while I was strong there, my demeanor was changing at home and my mom started asking questions. There was no fooling my mom for long, she demanded answers and I broke it all down to her. Of course she was disappointed because thats the last thing she expected. I remember my parents working so hard to place me in a safe environment especially being new to the state of Florida and my mom truly believed a place designed to keep God at the center would be a safe community. We later felt so let down, what felt like a community to them became a daily battlefield for me.
The next day my mom advised me she did not sleep and she was not sending me to the place this was occurring at until it was fully investigated and properly dealt with. I was told this was bullying and nothing less by my mom and after they continually asked for proof of my allegations, she suggested the surveillance cameras be thoroughly reviewed.
Surveillance was found and corroborated with everything I said was repeatedly happening. They didn’t find anything on me in the form of video or text etc. because there was nothing to find on my end, I was not the cause of such behavior. I believe my parents asked for the individuals to be educated on bullying and reprimanded in the form of suspensions.
My family was later told the investigation is over, consequences would be appropriately handed out and they would love for me to return. In an email sent to my mom which had multiple upper management staff cc’d on it stated all previously mentioned, but also said I would need to meet with administrators because I contributed to this. A verbal statement was given that when someone had asked me why I was not hanging with any of the regulars -apparently my response was that because they‘re "toxic" and the group of girls didn’t like that. Basically I was being accused as the reason for the cause and effect based on their verbal statement and not my solid surveillance findings.
While hopeful the matter was properly handled, I returned with the same mindset knowing I did nothing wrong regardless of any reversal attempts. As expected I was told what the bullies said and made to feel as everything, but the victim. I handled it the best I could. It’s to my understanding no one was suspended possibly because their families either worked there, or were big financial donors etc. Things started feeling worse, they were united even bigger often giving me direct dirty looks amongst more. It felt dark in place structured to keep God at the center. I didn’t feel protected, valued or even safe.
It even got worse, the bullies would no longer huddle, but now more than two would gather and say not only am I giving them dirty looks, but I’m deliberately taking unassigned seats etc. Since when have I been known to spend my time and energy on such things? They would report me and the administrators would entertain it each and every time. They would approach me asking did I do this because more than one person in the group said you did. After a while my parents pulled the plug and said it went from bullying to bullying and harassment not just with young individuals, but older ones too. Nothing of evidence was ever found on me regarding their false and constant allegations yet it held so much weight, the bullies were caught on surveillance and it was a slap on the wrist holding no significant weight.
I remember having my prayer warriors lift this up in prayer and my pastor was even fasting over it, but it felt never ending and too long.
Being the trooper I am, I stuck it out and did the best I could. I detached myself altogether from them and the organization. I realized my voice matters and this was not done to me in vain.
Everyone was not awful, racist and mean, some there were truly amazing & God fearing people that I will always cherish along with my many lifetime memories especially being new to the state of Florida. This situation also allowed me to meet other great people within the organization that I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. My interest is -speaking my truth with love on the platform God has blessed me with in efforts to help someone out and bring forth change.
I forgive my bullies and hope they forgive themselves + learn and grow from their actions. I also forgive the leaders of the organization and pray administration/upper management see how the situation and I was mishandled. I've been a respectful honor student who properly represented the organization in many ways for multiple years. I deserved better handling as a bullying victim, especially in a organization
designed to keep God at the center.
I encourage you all to be kind.
I encourage you all to click on each bullying photo on this page to gain a better understanding of what bullying is, why it happens, how to stand up to it and how to safely report it.
Stay encouraged and remember:
NO BULLYING at school, at the workplace, at home, social medias, or social environments. Bullying is Never ok.
Bullying Blog Coming Soon!
As time allows I would encourage you all to get involved locally. Dedicate a little of your free time whether its on weekends, during breaks, or summer to impact your community.
It’s important we are good servants and the salt of this world.
High School students are required a certain amount of annual community service so I would recommend you tie that into your selection.
My focus for the next four years is to help our local animal shelter, assist in local pantry’s with stocking and packaging as well as whatever community service my school supports. In addition I will focus on bringing more awareness to breast cancer, remain partnered up with St. Jude by giving monthly contributions and lastly being a bullying advocate.
Get Involved! Your blessings will double whatever it is you’re willing to do for others especially our pets and those in need.