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"I am beautiful; a project against bullying" begins in Cecil County, but touches everyone!

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Heroes turn up in unlikely places - but by standing up and speaking out they become the voice of thousands. If you haven't seen the Facebook event "I am beautiful; a project against bullying" you need to check it out as soon as you finish reading this article. Bohemia Manor High School student Emilie Hancharick began this Facebook event to gather photos and information to make a video about the effects of bullying - but it's taken on a life of its own. She has become the champion of thousands, and that number will only continue to grow. 

What strikes me is the creativity and strength of the pictures teens are posting - I am in awe of their voice, their power, their love. They inspire me - and they are inspiring each other. And throughout all of the posts is the clear championing of Emilie for having the courage to begin such a heart wrenching project.  

Bohemia Manor Jr/Sr High School is a small school in Chesapeake City, MD - and my alma mater. My children go there now. So it hits close to home for me. Bullying, teasing, and cyber-stabbing are topics that cause every parent pain - but our words and support can only do so much. Emilie is getting the masses to bond and stand up to the predators. And she's doing it by simply saying - "You are beautiful - and you matter."

So look through their pictures, read their words. Then share the link with every young person you know. You never know who may be on the brink of desperation - who may need to hear the words and love outpouring from the site. Who may need to know they are not alone. And that they matter. 

Thank you, Emilie.

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