Because of an increase in teenage suicides in my area. After winning Miss Kentucky High School America I had the opportunity to align with the national platform of this pageant system, “B.R.A.V.E.”. Through the merging of these two platforms, “Be B.R.A.V.E. and SHINE on” was created!
There is always a person that impacts your life when you least expect it. When I was younger, I had this amazing friend, who was so incredibly smart and talented, but he didn’t have anyone at home to help him and he was constantly being told not to dream, not to believe he could go to college and that he wasn’t anyone or anything special. It was so hard to watch someone that I knew was truly amazing, not be able to live their dreams. This was where Project Shine was born. In a world where we have increasing issues with body image, teen suicide, school violence and bullying, we as young people have to lead the rebellion that we are going to eliminate the negativity and take back our “shine” and our dreams.
Teen Suicide rates are at an all-time high and climbing. Drug abuse, bullying and school shootings are littering our nightly news programs and living in the hearts and fears of young people everywhere. Project Shine is a way to help young people re focus their energy on what they do well, focus on their goals and learn to not listen to the negativity surrounding them, but to embrace the positivity they have in their hearts. “Project SHINE” is my initiative to help others look inside themselves and find the courage to dream big and be anything they put their minds to, through the process of setting goals and imaging their future. It is about knowing what makes them special, embracing their hopes, imagining their future, never giving up and expressing who they are through their thoughts, words and actions. I combine my efforts with national organizations such as Girl Scouts and Girls Glam Inspire, and local organizations like STARS and East Side Ministries. We do activities such as Mentor Teas, Vision Board Nights, Community Service Projects and other experiences that help at risk young people find a way to make their goals a reality. The goal is to help young people learn to organize and plan, gain self-esteem and confidence, discover their talents and also to create partnerships with mentors or other students that allow them to have people to work through their challenges and to celebrate their successes!
“B.R.A.V.E.” focuses on building respect and values in everyone, to end bullying on a large scale. This platform provides teachers, parents, caregivers, and everyone else the tools to educate today’s youth about the importance of being kind! By working in classrooms, libraries, and with presentations the “B.R.A.V.E” platform helps school-aged children, and their parents, promote a safe and bully-free environment! One main point of “B.R.A.V.E” is to teach kids and adults to be standbyers, not a bystander when bullying is actually occurring! Also to reach out to an adult when they see someone being bullied.