More than 70 percent of students play a role in cyberbullying, whether they be the bully, the victim or a witness, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. For Miss West Central Ohio, Elissa McCracken, the number is too high, and she is using her platform to fight it.
Elissa was a victim of cyberbullying in middle school, an experience that shook her confidence and made her doubt her ability to compete in pageants. But now that she has overcome the terrors of cyberbullying, she is promoting her platform throughout her home state.
"I have devoted myself to the commitment that I would help others avoid the intimidation, humiliation, and embarrassment that I endured," Elissa said.
Elissa is traveling throughout Ohio to promote her platform and attend cyberbullying workshops. At a recent event, she addressed educators, mental health professionals, and law enforcement personnel. The event was called "Cyberbullying 101," and was sponsored by the Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine.
"Several attendees requested my contact information, and I am very excited about the possibilities such networking can provide me for spreading my important message to help other young people," Elissa said.
Elissa's platform, "Stop Cyberbullying," is being received by a wider audience thanks to her public service announcements. She recorded the announcements for the Attorney General's Office, and they will be broadcast, one on radio, and one on television, throughout the state.
Elissa is in her third year of pharmacy school at Ohio Northern University. She plans to continue spreading the message of anit-cyberbullying in the near future and for years to come.
"I plan on attending the conferences and workshops to which I was invited, participate in webinars devoted to continued education about safety online, and continue my diligent pursuit of spread the important message of my anit-cyberbullying platform message," Elissa said.
Source: Leslie Townsend
Have You Ever Been A Victim of Bullying?
By Myrhanda Jones
With today's technological advances, my generation has the power to save a life yet putting that power in the wrong hands can harm someone. Today's teenagers are hiding behind a screen that gives them the invincibility to bully one another without being caught or named.
Recently, I was chosen by Cox Communications here in Florida to represent teenagers at a summit called "Take Charge." It was held in Washington, D.C. and was hosted by John Walsh of America's Most Wanted. Teens from all over the U.S. attended and we spoke about Internet safety, sexting, and texting issues that our generation is experiencing. John Walsh and I went to Capitol Hill where we spoke with Rep. Cliff Stearns. I gave him information about the lack of safety that teens seem to have on Facebook and Myspace.
Here are some tips on how to help and prevent bullying:
1. If you are being harassed via text message, ask the person to stop texting you. Then, tell your parents what is happening.
2. If the harassment persists, call the police.
3. Do not return any phone calls or texts from the person harassing you.
Remember that although it is not a crime (yet) to text about your peers or write about them on the Internet, it can be very damaging.
For more information, visit my Web site at www.huhgsforhearts.com.
Miss South Dakota Loren Vallaincourt is passionate about spreading the word about distracted driving and reducing the number of accidents related to this phenomenon. Her efforts were recently recognized by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. He personally called Loren last week to thank her for her efforts and even spoke about her work in a blog post.
" To help spread the word in South Dakota about distracted driving, Loren has teamed up with State Farm to offer a new grant program that rewards the two South Dakota schools with the best anti-distracted driving campaigns.
But this program also has an innovative twist. From now until January 15, Loren's video diary will be posted on the State Farm Teen Driver Safety Facebook page. For every time viewers click "like" on one of Loren's diary posts, State Farm will add one dollar to the grant amount.
That's right; the amount awarded, up to $10,000, depends on the number of Facebook users who "like"Loren's entries. If that's what it takes to get America's webizens to see and hear Loren's message, I am all for it!
Congratulations, Loren! I wish you the best in next week's pageant, and I thank you for your important service," said LaHood in a recent blog post.