Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take 5... or is it Take 82,000?

It seems as if every time you turn on the TV there is a news story about teenagers in trouble because of their online behavior. Everyone is scratching their heads wondering why and wondering what can be done. In part, that will be the topic of an upcoming episode of "Real Talk" with Brenda Blackmon on WOR-TV, My9.

Today, Ryan, one of our Tweenangels and I taped a segment for that show, but this entry is only peripherally about us. Ryan talked about advice that we give teens and tweens who encounter cyberbullying. We tell them to Stop, Block, and Tell and Take 5! Stop what you are doing and don't respond. Block the bully. Tell a trusted adult and then Take 5. Walk away from the computer and do something you love for five minutes.

While this is good advice, Morgan Simone, the teen who taped the next segment seems to have taken the Take 5 concept to heart and then some. As many youngster do, she had bully problems, but she also had good friends to help balance things out. That all changed when she moved away. As the new kid in school she was without friends and the subject of constant attacks.

Rather than lash out or attack back, this amazing 15 year-old didn't take five minutes. She took her experiences, her feelings and her insight poured out 82,000, words that became "I'm Still Here", a novel for other teens.

The title is testament to her spirit and subject of her dedication, that along with the book, seeks to instill hope in others who suffer as she did. She dedicates the book to those who felt as if they were not good enough, not beautiful enough, and just not accepted, because you can still proudly say "I'm Still Here."

With all the negativity in the world, I look at youngsters like our Teenangels, Tweenangels like Ryan, and other exceptional youngsters like Morgan, and realize that with future leaders such as these, there is hope.

Oh, and while I don't have a signed first edition Hemingway, I do have a signed first edition, Morgan Simone, and it may be worth just as much some day.

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posted by Art @ 7:37 PM   0 comments


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