As I look back at 2020, boy what a challenging year. I know for sure perseverance & persistence, are what was need to get past that year. It reminds me of my grandmother saying, “Tough times never last, but tough people do”.
As a scoliosis warrior and since my diagnosis I have become an advocate for Scoliosis awareness and prevention.
I was standing slanted, diagnosed and even wore a brace (14-16 hours daily). As you can probably imagine, this came with a lot of questions, rude comments & ‘funny’ looks. I was even called Handicap & asked by others if in would now be placed in Special Education classes…all from wearing a brace?!
Later on in on the year I got surgery. Ever since I went through the hard times of back surgery & recovery process I have been working on making my platform even bigger.
Let it be known that June is national scoliosis month. But, every month I go to The Children's National Hospital in Washington DC, and give a presentation about Scoliosis Awareness and Prevention. The doctor has even asked that my family mentor & speak with other families about the spinal fusion surgery to help ease their anxiety & nervousness about surgery. That's just ONE of the ways I promote the BRAVE platform.
Something that everyone should always remember is that you never know what someone is going through. As my mother always says, “everyone has a story”. Even if we ask them about it, it shows people that they matter and they have a purpose. Kids often bully one another out of fear. They are afraid to ask what’s wrong, so instead they make fun of their peers for being different.
As a teen who struggles with acne, I have always feared going outside without makeup and going to school on picture day. The B.R.A.V.E. platform has helped me through my insecurities and inspired me to help others through theirs. Society has created a world where kids grow up thinking they aren’t normal if they don’t fit the beauty standards social media portrays. B.R.A.V.E. helps kids with their confidence and shows everyone that they are beautiful inside and out.
A huge problem is that adults often tell the victim that they shouldn’t let it bother them and to just forget about it. By doing this they are causing even more problems for the victim in the future, and without consequences, the bully is going to continue making fun of people.
I believe that we need to start at the root of the problem and teach young kids how to be kind to everyone and teach them how to respect others. Rather than waiting too long until it’s too late and having the kids grow up to be bullies. By doing this, we can decrease the number of bullies and in return, the number of victims as well.
The High School America system teaches young girls all about B.R.A.V.E. and to promote B.R.A.V.E. across America. I have always been passionate about spreading awareness on bullying and now I can share this platform with all of you.
If everyone chose to be kind the world would be a much better place and one we could be proud of. I encourage you to do or say one kind thing to someone each day. You would be surprised how much you can change someone’s life by being kind to them. Not only are you making someone else feel good, being kind makes you feel better about yourself and causes that person to pay it forward and creates a chain of kindness. Challenge yourself to be kind everyday and soon enough it will feel natural to always help others.
Ever since I became Miss Maine Collegiate, giving my B.R.A.V.E presentations to the next generation has been my favorite because as I'm talking I see all of them focused and hanging onto every word I'm saying.
For me that is showing that they are listening and learning how to stand up for one another.
When I was younger I was bullied ever since first grade for not being able to read or write like
the other kids. I remember this boy, that fun fact I actually had a crush on at the time, I went up
to him to talk and I remember his exact words “get away from me bad reader”. It wasn’t until
third grade when I started to become hurt by their words. We had a day where we had to bring
in white T-shirts and draw our favorite scene from a book/movie and anyone who knows me
knows I’m obsessed with Disney, so I decided to draw a scene from Beauty and the Beast. Well
everyone in the class made fun of me because I spelt the word beauty wrong. I just remember
feeling very awful about myself when everyone started laughing at me to a point where when we
got a parade around the school showing off our shirts, I sat in the class in the corner crying as I
just worked in my phonics book.
After that moment I realized that I didn’t want to have to feel like that ever again. I don’t want to be looked at as the outcast who couldn’t tell the difference between m and w or b and d. Since that day I worked hard on my grammar, comprehension, and reading everyday with a teacher. As soon as I stopped letting their words get to me, I started feeling good about myself.
As my reign being Miss Maine Collegiate, I want to start off being that voice for someone and as
time goes by I want to be able to teach them how to have a voice to stand up for themselves.
It’s like the quote says “if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to
fish, you feed him for a life time”.
I was afraid and insecure about speaking up about the situation because of the fear of it happening all over again. BRAVE has shown me confidence, courage and hope! To stand up for myself, and to be a voice for others who can’t do that for themselves.I want others to truly understand the effect bullying has on someone’s overall health, and how it is okay not to be okay!
I have been a victim of bullying a couple times and the most recent one was this past year, my freshman year of high school. I had been friends with this group of girls since elementary school and one day they decided that they didn’t want to be friends with me anymore. They started talking about me behind my back and treating me poorly. I was blind sided because I had no clue what I did and this is the worst nightmare of a freshman in high school. Still to this day I have no reason for why they did that. However, instead of letting that bring me down I rose above the bullying, had a couple friends that stood by my side and started making new friends. Now I can finally say that I feel my small group of friends will always be there for me.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to win the title of Miss Oregon High and now I have the opportunity of going back to nationals representing New York. Being able to spread the BRAVE platform for the last two years has been amazing. I feel that it is so important to educate the children of today’s world on bullying so that we can help put a stop to it and educate people on the effects of bullying, why people bully and much more. I recently started a series on my Instagram page called “Izzy's BRAVE Talks” and that is where I do weekly videos that focus on different topics related to the BRAVE platform. Head on over to @missnewyorkhigh to see my first video and learn more about bullying!
Welcome to the BRAVE Blog, I'm Carly, Miss Houston Collegiate America and I am working together with other titleholders in the MHSA organization to share the message of BRAVE and why it is so important!