Because of the MHSA organization, I can share my story. Here is mine: I was bullied because of my height because I was “Too Tall” and because I was a “Giraffe.” I was young and didn’t know how to tell the bully to stop. Before Miss High School America came into my life I was scared the bully would hurt me. I now help people of all ages overcome Bullying. I started to feel scared when I was around my bully, so my parents put me in jiu-jitsu. In jiu-jitsu, I now get to teach younger kids about how to defend yourself against a bully, as well as share my story! I have been doing jiu-jitsu for almost 5 years now and I love every second of it! I hope you enjoyed reading my story!
This mission is why I started “Larissa’s Virtual Reading Corner” for preschool and young school-aged children, where the themes in the books we read are “be kind”, ”be brave”, and “be you”. I believe it is empowering for children to learn this and live this. This message is what the B.R.A.V.E. platform is about, lifting each other up, appreciating each other’s differences, and learning from one another. I am so honored to represent Miss Texas High School America and be associated with the Miss High School America Organization whose national platform is B.R.A.V.E. Building Respect and Values for Everyone.
Talk about being picked on and bullied. Fitting in was not easy and there were so many days I wondered why I was there and if I was good enough. I loved hockey but many of my teammates were mean and it made me hate going. B.R.A.V.E, building respect and values for everyone, is the national platform for Miss High School America, and hits very close to home for me for this very reason.
Being bullied changes you and makes you feel alone. This is not how anyone should ever have to feel and I am excited to have been given the opportunity to promote this positive anti-bullying message through MHSA. Here is how I want to spread the word, in addition to talking with local schools and youth I want to get the attention of someone who has inspired me and ask for his help. James Charles! Yup you heard me correct the famous social media icon and makeup artist. After being inspired by his story and makeup designs I want to challenge him to create different makeup looks to promote B.R.A.V.E and show the affects bullying can have on someone emotionally. I know its a big challenge, but I am up for it and think with his help and support we can reach so many young people. I am going to start with my own creativity and show through makeup how bullying shaped me and hope to get his attention! Nelson Mandela once said, " It always seems impossible until it is done!" I hope to remind everyone through my actions and words that kindness, diversity, and standing up for what is right will change the world. I believe Courage is contagious, so let’s do this!
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.
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!
Since then I have been learning more and more about bullying and all the different types of it. As the title holder I am having big fun with all of the adventures and journeys this is taking me on. The word BRAVE reminds me of the phrase “brave and beautiful” in which makes me feel if I am brave I will be beautiful on the inside. Brave is important to me because I have been a bystander and I totally regret it every single day of my life.
Last year there was a lot of bullying happening in my class and it has given me a lot anxiety and problems with my mental health. To conclude I would tell you never be a bystander and stop what bullying you see.
I believe that B.R.A.V.E is the opportunity for all of us to stand up, be inclusive, and be kind to everyone around you no matter what, and rather then doubting someone because of their differences, we should celebrate them instead! What makes us different, is what makes us unique, and being involved with MHSA has given me the opportunity to promote this message to so many people!
I chose to join this system, because of this incredible movement! I knew that I would have the such an amazing opportunity to impact so many kids lives! I was beyond blessed to have competed and received the title of Miss South Dakota Jr High, and right after being crowned, I began thinking of ways I could promote BRAVE to the best of my ability, even in these difficult times!
I have recently created a TikTok page, where I will be posting 3 times a week, and educating my viewers on the B.R.A.V.E platform, and how we can put bullying to an end! I felt that this was such a great way to reach out and promote the platform virtually, because of how many kids have access to this app! I cannot wait to start visiting classrooms and speaking to kids in person about the importance of being upstanders rather then a bystander, and to always be kind to one and other!
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!