If you were the target of a serious bullying attack, what
would you do? Would you ignore
them? Fight back? Ask for help?
Or speak out, and turn the bullies’ attempts to hurt you into a passion
for helping others? That’s what Paige
Logan, an 18-year-old from Altamont, Ill., chose to do. Here’s her inspiring story.
A pageant gone ugly
What should have been a happy occasion for Paige, with
nothing but congratulations, brought on some nasty responses. The summer before her eighth grade year, she
competed in the Effingham County Fair Junior Miss Pageant – and won the
crown. Suddenly, Paige was a prime
target for bullying. People called her
bad names behind her back and on social media sites. Even adults were getting involved! “Adults would go spread rumors to teachers, other
parents, and even go right on the social networks with negative postings about
me. They would even try to get other
students to turn against me and tell them not to be my friend,” Paige explains.
All of the negativity began to weigh on her. “My grades were slipping and I wanted to quit
school . . . I knew I needed to do something but [was] not sure what that
really was at the time,” Paige says. She
talked to her parents, who explained that leaving school would just give the bullies
the power they sought. “It was up to me to take control of my life and live it
how I wanted it to be,” she says.
The start of
Paige decided to move forward by making a commitment to help
people everywhere who struggle with bullying.
She turned to the place she always felt safe – 4-H. She and her friends in the organization
brainstormed and decided that they wanted to help other youth develop
leadership skills so that they too could take charge of their lives and have a
positive impact on their community. Paige
and her friends formed the Effingham County 4-H Youth Ambassadors, and went on
to host a leadership camp for junior high youth.
From this experience, she learned how important leadership
skills are – for all youth, but especially those who are being bullied. Paige continued to find other opportunities
to teach leadership to youth and spread the no-bullying message. One of her recent adventures has been being a
National Spokespersons for The Great American NO BULL Challenge, “a social
action organization that uses the power of social media, music, and the magic
of filmmaking to inspire millions of middle and high school students to create
short films and PSAs that speak to the importance of digital responsibility,”
She has been recognized for her amazing community service,
being named a State Honoree at the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community
It’s your turn now
Paige has come a long way from her days of wanting to quit school to escape es. Her advice for girls going through it right now? “SPEAK OUT!” she says. “Someone who is experiencing bullying must find the courage and strength to speak out and talk about it. They have to do this for themselves – holding it all in only makes things worse.” Worried about what people might say if you do come forward? “Sure, you may get called a tattle tale or a snitch,” Paige admits. “Why is that so bad, really? Someone is making your life miserable, and everyone has the right to live a happy life. It is YOUR life so live it how you want it to be, not how others want you to be.”
Even if you aren’t dealing with bullying, we all have
challenges in our life and obstacles to overcome. Paige believes in the power of turning a
negative experience into a positive – and finding a passion that distracts you
from the bad. When the bullying was bad,
Paige shares, “Staying focused on my goals was more important that anything
anyone could possibly say about me.”
Most of all, Paige wants to share the message that it is up
to you to make your life what you want – no matter what fears, self-doubts, or
negative comments run through your head.
She says, “remind yourself every day:
“I WILL be self-sufficient, I WILL conquer my fears, I WILL follow my
dreams, I WILL make a difference in my world, I WILL achieve all my goals, I
WILL be successful. Because really,
everything you ever will need is YOU!”
For more about the
Great American NO BULL Challenge and how to fight bullying, click here.
For more information
on the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and how to apply, click here.
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BY MARIE HANSEN ON 10/8/2013 4:21:00 PM
POSTED IN bullying, Get Inspired