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Exclusive! Bella Thorne shares the secrets to beating bullies and becoming a leader


 
Looking for a little confidence boost before heading back to class? Bella Thorne’s got the answer. The Shake It Up star is currently teaming up with her co-star Zendaya as part of Disney’s Friends for Change Ambassadors, and they’re hard at work inspiring kids to take a stand against bullying, helping to make the world a better place.

 

As part of the program, B and Z recently hit up the Free The Children’s Leadership Academy in Arizona, where they participated in a series of workshops designed to give youth leaders a deeper understanding of their leadership styles. Pretty cool, right?

 

It’s no secret Bella’s fallen victim to school bullying in the past due to her dyslexia. But it’s only made her stronger. Here, she shares her best tips for dealing with bullies, and how we can all be leaders this school year.  

GL: What’s the best thing a girl can do when she’s face-to-face with a bully?

Bella: Walk away. It’s that easy. Sometimes people get scared in a situation where they can’t walk away, and that’s when you know it’s bad. They’re too scared to walk away and so they just put up with it.

 

What's the best thing a girl can do if she sees somebody being bullied?

Run and tell a teacher because they will bring the kid in for bullying. Then they’ll have to call their parents, and no kid in school wants their parents to be called.

 

So true! What about something girls can do if they see a friend being bullied?

Help them. Don’t just watch and be a bystander. I know that while I was being bullied [for my dyslexia], I always wanted someone to come and rescue me.

 

What if you said something mean to someone—when’s the best time to apologize?

The second you say it. Apologize immediately and say you didn’t mean it like that. Because once the damage is done, it’s done, and there’s nothing you can do about that.

 

The Friends for Change program also focuses on being a leader. What are some characteristics a leader embodies?

I think everyone can be [one]! As long as you’re doing the right thing and you’re following your heart, that’s [being] a leader.

 

What’s one small way a girl can become a leader this school year?

Make sure you’re always studying. Personally, for Zendaya (her mom and dad are teachers) and me, that’s a big thing—and obviously it’s also a big thing for your future.

 

What’s one thing every girl should remember when walking into her first day of school?

Look straight [ahead] and walk like it’s your last walk, hunnie. Act like you’re walking down the runway.

 

Catch a peek at Bella and Zendaya’s experience at Free The Children’s Leadership Academy below…

 

 

For more info on how you can start putting those leadership skills to good use, CLICK HERE.

 

How are you going to become a leader this school year? Blog about it, babes.
 
 

BY KELLY MYSLINSKI AND PATRICIA MCNAMARA ON 8/15/2012 10:00:00 AM

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Quiz: What kind of sister are you?

 

Are you the sassy sister, the shy sister or the supportive sister? Take this quiz—inspired by the new graphic novel Sisters by Raina Telgemeier—to find out!  

 
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