Many of us have experienced bullying and I’m no different. In elementary and middle
school I was relentlessly teased and physically attacked a number of times. Speaking up
was hard because I was terrified that calling attention to the issue would only increase the
chances it happened again. It was only with the backing of my friends that I had the
courage to finally say something; but I know there are so many kids that will never find
that same strength, and will continue to feel alone in their struggle.
That is why BRAVE can be life changing. If we teach every student to be aware of their
peers: ask someone new to have lunch or play with them, give someone a compliment, or
ask someone how they are doing, we will create an incredible domino effect to change
the status-quo. Respectful actions make a world of difference and the more we can
promote inclusion for everyone the less bullying can exist in our classrooms: being aware
of others, and looking out for everyone around us.
As Miss New Mexico Collegiate it’s my mission to continue my work with BRAVE on a
larger scale, and spread the message the ‘You Belong’. Presenting to classrooms across
the country, I want every kid to be equipped with the tools to help foster compassion in
their classroom. I’ve been the kid who was left out, who didn't fit it— so when I can walk
into a classroom with a shiny crown on my head, they see me as a ‘princess’; but when I
talk to them, and share my story, they understand they are not alone, and hopefully begin
to find the courage they need— and the support of their peers, to overcome.
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!