Sunday, June 3, 2012


I had the incredible opportunity to work with students participating in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership organization over the weekend.

10th Grade student leaders came together at the University of Rochester to participate in team building and leadership building opportunities. This is the second year I’ve participated as a volunteer and I am so impressed with these young people.

This year’s message had an underlying theme of doing what’s best for others and featured opportunities to support collaboration, communication, and attending to the need to end bullying. The Born This Way foundation was there, as were Jamey Rodemeyer’s parents*, and I had the opportunity to speak to students about how they interact with Social Media, and considerations for what happens with Cyberbullying.

During the time I had with students, I asked them contribute their own thoughts about how to end cyberbullying, and this is what they shared (captured from’s awesome service!):

There was a lot of wisdom in that room.

During the presentation, I also had the students stand up and repeat the You Matter Manifesto, from Angela Maiers, a colleague of mine’s work. I had the students say:

“I Matter.
I am a genius.
The world needs my contribution.”

I also added, “I need the contributions of others.”

I showed students a clip of the new Bully movie and asked them to consider how much they matter, how much others matter to them, and how supportive we can be in understanding that we all have contributions to make to the world.

150 10th Graders from all over Western New York participated in this.
150 10th Graders are taking the “You Matter” mantra back to their schools.
150 10th Graders inspired me this weekend.

I am so impressed with these young people. They matter big time!

I so appreciate the opportunity to get to work with them again!

*Jamey Rodemeyer was a 14 year old boy from Williamsville, NY, just miles from where I live, who took his own life in the face of bullying at school. Read More about him here.

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