Posts Tagged ‘Teen Video Awards’

Make a difference with NO BULL!

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Did you know one out of every four teenagers experiences some form of bullying? Even more staggering: 70 percent of students are targeted and taunted on the Internet. Chances are, you may have witnessed or experienced bullying yourself. Rest assured you’re not alone; in fact, three FFA members just like yourself tackled bullying by taking up a challenge head on – the Great American ‘No Bull’ Challenge.

Tyler Gregory, Scott Hannah and Zach Veach joined more than 25 million other middle and high school students by participating in the challenge, which is centered around using digital responsibility and social media to make a positive impact on bullying.

“Bullying just stops kids from wanting to chase their dreams,” says 18-year-old Veach, a professional race car driver who dropped out of public school because of the bullying he was facing.

“We’re here to make a change because it’s getting out of hand,” continued Veach. “Because I wasn’t on the football or baseball team, I was different. And different was bad.”

Gregory and Hannah have had their own encounters with bullying too. For Hannah, the issue hit home when his friends began to harass a close acquaintance of his from another school. Their experiences led the trio to learn more about the repercussions of bullying and enabled them to make a difference.

Now, all three are national spokesmen for the No Bull campaign and travel around to leadership organizations like the National FFA Organization to speak and inspire other students to consider the challenge for themselves.

“Everyone knows what bullying is, but no one wants to do anything about it,” said Gregory. “We’re challenging each and every one of you to take on No Bull. All you need is a camera and an idea.”

No Bull Challenge participants submit a short video or public service announcement elaborating on the topic of bullying. Fifty videos are selected and then narrowed down to the top 15 finalists who are invited to attend the Teen Video Awards in San Francisco. Additionally, contestants are eligible to win other prizes including laptops, a new camera and even college scholarships.

For more on how you can make a difference and join the No Bull Challenge, visit

The back to school Golden Rule…

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The back to school Golden Rule…
It’s that time of year again, the first day of school. For some it’s a new school, a new grade, new face, new friends… for all, it’s a new beginning. We all know the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” The truth is, most people fail to apply this rule.

I’ve just returned from the National Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington D.C. and have so much to share with you. In the technology era, bullying comes in all forms; it’s not necessarily the big kid taking your lunch money anymore. It comes by way of text, email, social media, far beyond the school’s jurisdiction. This sweeping epidemic that our children are dealing with every day has a new face: cyberbullying.

It’s important that teachers, parents and students are provided with the essential tools they need to stand up to this new threat. I will help provide you with these necessary tools.

The first day of school isn’t just a new beginning for students, but also for principals, teachers and parents.
Every day, each of us has the chance to turn a sometimes scary place into a safe and comfortable learning environment for our children. It’s amazing how much you can learn by simply opening your eyes to what is going on around you.

Keeping an open relationship with our children means we have to be ready to accept the reality of who they are and what they’re feeling. Really, I mean try accepting their point of view.

Communication is an ongoing process, rather than a one-time conversation. If you want your kids to talk to you, be ready to listen. This is probably the most important skill a parent can have at their disposal. We can strive to teach our children from right and wrong, and in return we can also learn by observing and listening.

Talk openly with your child about healthy relationships. Everyone is always going to be faced with both good and bad relationships; always take the good with the bad. Good relationships are doors to endless opportunity if they’re used properly. Bad relationships don’t have to be all bad, they might provide more obstacles, but sometimes an alternate course is needed to see things in a different light. Be prepared and ready to sit down and talk with your children about the good and bad relationships that they’re facing on a daily basis.

Here are some great back to school survival tips for your kids:
1. Smile! A simple smile can go a long way; it can change someone from having a bad day into a good one.
2. Keep your opinions to yourself! After all, they’re YOURS for a reason.
3. We all make mistakes! You will always learn from your mistakes, take your newfound knowledge and use it in a positive manner.

And let’s not forget when talking to our children to speak with L.O.V.E:
L – Listen. Talking with your children doesn’t always mean you have to be the only one talking.
O – Open. Let your children know that no topic is ever off limits.
V – Voice. It’s important to have a voice on both ends.
E – Enjoy, let your talk time be a happy time, and always remember that before you know it, they will be off to college or pursuing their dreams.
Join me this Tuesday, 8/28 for a live chat on Facebook. We’ll be covering cyber safety, standing up to bullying, educating our schools, students and more! You have a question? I have the answers! I look forward to connecting!

Shawn is a cyberbullying prevention expert and your go-to cyber safety advocate. Shawn’s the author of the bestselling book, The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World, the Founder of the Cyber Safety Academy, the Great American NO BULL Challenge and the Teen Video Awards. Shawn is also the CEO of a national insurance firm, where she provides risk management for companies across the country.