Your Voice Matters (YVM12)

I got word of a story from Rochester, NY, yesterday of a young woman named Paradise Williams. She’s a senior at Northwest College Preparatory High School and was the victim of bullying since middle school. She has issues with her weight, and was an easy target for kids looking to make themselves feel better by bringing someone else down. The article from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle states:

[She] masked the pain she felt being bullied because of her weight. On days when pretending was just too difficult, she played sick, staying home to avoid her classmates. When the feelings that festered inside her became too much, she attempted suicide.

Twelfth-grader Paradise Williams listens to members of Bullyproof, a group she created, during a meeting at Northwest College Preparatory High School in Rochester. / CARLOS ORTIZ / staff photographer for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Thankfully, she was unsuccessful, and while recovering in the hospital, she developed an idea to reach out and help other teens, like herself. At first, she made an anti-bullying video, showing flash cards describing her situation. Then she came up with the idea of an in-school support group, called Bullyproof. She’s now reaching out to administrators in other area schools in an effort to get similar programs started elsewhere.

“Just speak up,” she said. “Let your voice be heard.”

Let Paradise, and other teens like her, know that you are getting the message. Take a moment today and pay someone a compliment. Smile. Your voice matters, so use it wisely. Don’t degrade someone because they look or act differently than you. Instead, celebrate the variety. If we all looked and acted the same, this would be one really boring world to live in!

Giveaway Update

Entries continue to stream in for the Your Voice Matters Review Giveaway, but I want to see more! I understand, for the people that have entered already, the tendency is to try to keep it a secret. My chances will be better if no one knows about this! But, I believe in karma and the power of good deeds. Pass the opportunity along. Encourage someone to read who normally shies away from books. You may not get paid back in this contest, but those actions will come back to enrich your life. Here’s another sampling of the great reviews that have been submitted already (book links to Goodreads):

I think Nate Rocks the World is a great book. The authors name is Karen Toz and she is one of the best authors I have ever read. This book is a great book for all ages. Whether you’re reading it to someone or reading it by yourself you’ll love it. — from Sarah’s review of Nate Rocks the World by Karen Pokras Toz

This was classic Gist. I love love love all her books and was so thrilled when I was finally able to read this one. I don’t think it’s as amazing as some of her other books, like Beguiled or Maid to Match, though. Although I loved Luke and Georgie, Luke wasn’t as romantic as I prefer my guy characters to be, and I didn’t like Georgie’s character as much as I’ve liked past Gist characters. She seemed too frivolous, childish, and impractical at times and as much I tried to get over it, it got on my nerves. — from Shelby’s review of Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist

I get a big smile on my face when I see another review entry come in my email, so keep them coming and keep me smiling!


About Alan Tucker

Writer, Dad, Graphic Designer, Soccer Coach … not necessarily in that order!

Posted on February 27, 2012, in Your Voice Matters. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A-1 post, Alan! We need more people in the world like Paradise who’ll help others stand up for themselves! Thank you for sharing her accomplishments and integrity! Cheers!

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