Congrats to the winner of my Facebook Keep Holding On giveaway, Betsy H.! You guys told me some amazing ways you’re planning to help make the world a better place this spring. I am proud of each and every one of you.
You’ll have more chances to win Keep Holding On before it comes out on June 14. I can’t wait for it to be out in the world. Less than three months to go! Have you entered to win an ARC on Goodreads yet? There’s still time:
Some other friendly neighbors are already making the world a better place. Here are a few of my new heroes:
Cassandra Bankson – This girl is fearless. It takes immense courage to reveal your true self to the world, which Cassandra does on her YouTube. Although my acne wasn’t as bad as Cassandra’s when I was a teen (hers is really improving – you GO girl!), my face was a horror show. Cassandra shows us her face without makeup and her steps for concealing acne in this video. I wish Cassandra was around when I was in high school. She would have made me feel better about myself, just like she does now for her tons of followers. Cassandra Bankson is a freaking rock star.
Lady Gaga – The Born This Way Foundation was founded by Lady Gaga and her mom. It’s an initiative to create an atmosphere of love and caring among teens, particularly in schools. Lady Gaga’s philosophy is right on: our existing culture of intolerance can be changed over time if enough of us work to change it. The three pillars of her foundation are safety, skills, and opportunity. Lady Gaga explains SSO here. Snaps for Mother Monster.
The Bully Project – The documentary Bully is an uncensored look at bullying in our schools. You can share your bullying stories here and pledge to take a stand against bullying here. Bully will be out on March 30. Ironically, it received an R rating. Which is like saying the truth about how mean kids speak and act is so gruesome the kids they’re tormenting can’t watch. It’s saying kids can’t watch something they see every single day at school. This rating will prevent the kids who need help the most from seeing the film. You can sign the petition to give bully a PG-13 rating instead of R.
Regular readers of this blog know that my new book, Keep Holding On, focuses on the consequences of bullying. I decided to write this book to share some of my own experiences from when I was bullied pretty much every day. School was a nightmare for me. When I was being relentlessly tormented in junior high and high school, I felt like no one understood my pain. I know what it’s like to never feel safe at school. So I totally understand teens who tell me about their own agony and isolation. The thing is, there are lots of us who have survived bullying and are struggling every day to survive now. Please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Stay strong and never give up.