What has Single Parents and Teens foundation of Dallas' Anti-Bullying event do for me? Or what impact did the Anti-Bullying event have on me and my issues with being bullied in the past or present?

My issues of bullying were what caused me to become depressed. When I was a child the bullying done to me by children made me feel ugly, alone and unwanted to some extent. Most children have gone through this a time or more in their adoslence. As every parent to my generation (late Generation X/early Generation Y) believed this was something we must go through to build ourselves up. In some instances my generation did just that grow and build themselves up better (I for one did develop a stronger sense of self). However, as technology grew so did the ways a person is bullied. As did the lengths another would go to bully someone they felt inferior to. When I was an adult and had started my family (young as I was 19) I pushed back the negative feelings other showed me and seemed happy. When I became a little older (around 24 years) a tragedy struck my very existence, the passing away of my youngest, infant son (Nathañyel David). Despite my age my depression that was held back so long ago was now released. I doubted the way I looked, the confidence I possessed went out the window. Now, when I became involved with Single Parents and Teens Foundation of Dallas' Fashion Show Addressing Bullying, I found that confidence that I lost. I saw the beauty within myself, the courage to release those anxieties that held me back from a happy life. Yes, I will still face struggles with my depression but with the help and encouragement from Single Parents and Teens foundation of Dallas, I can and will break the wall of bullies that push me back.

Reshma & Amaya

Reshma: I am a child of Indian (India) decent, I am a first generation Indian/American. Growing up in the Richardson area in my youth, I received a lot of bullying due to the color of my skin and my families place of origin. The bullying got so bad that I internally turned it into self-shame. As I grew older I wanted different for my children, However I just was winging it for a long time. When I learned about the Single Parents and Teens foundation of Dallas I knew I found guidance. I signed up my daughter in their sponsored fashion show and saw my daughter blossom. I now know I can count of this foundation to be a factor that will lessen bullying in my community.

Amaya: When I was in the 1st grade I was assigned to sit at a table with 3 boy students. These boys would pick on me when the teacher wasn't looking. They would make fun of my name, my look and the way I talked. I told my mother and she told me to tell the teacher, so it could stop. I was a little scared to tell the teacher in front of the boys, so I waited until the boys were not around and told my teacher. My teacher then solved the issues and now I was better. My mom asked me if I wanted to model in this Fashion Show and I was a little bit nervous. I thought that I would mess up and others would make fun of me (like the boys did before). My mom said that the fashion show is to stop bullying and the people running the show are really nice and they would help me if that happened again. So I went to practices and meet the people at Single Parents and Teens Foundation, and found out my mom was right. So I seized the opportunity and with more confidence I strutted my stuff and now I am more confidence from being allowed to meet other people from all walks of life and be accepted as well as loved for who I am.

Having participated with Single Parents and Teens Foundation of Dallas Amaya and her mother (Reshma) have the support to create change and proactively combat the bullying issues around them.

Jasmine Williams

Jasmine (Adult): Growing up I knew I was not like everyone else I was unique, different and special. However, not everyone was accepting a person like me. When I saw unique others saw strange; when I saw different others saw ugly; and when I saw special others saw a problem. Throughout my life adults and children alike labeled me (i.e. fat, ugly, gay, stupid, etc.). It became so bad that I was believing the names and had attempted to end my life. I was hospitalized in a mental institution and diagnosed with more labels; depression and anxiety. Bullying had beat me, I had no one to help me realize my worth. Around 16 I confided in my cousin my sexual orientation. I felt better, not great, but better that I found someone to confide in everything. That confidence allowed me to attend/participate in small school fashion shows. I still felt like I was held back, that is until I came across Single Parents and Teens Foundation of Dallas. When the foundation decided to host an Anti-bullying Fashion Show I knew that this was the show that would build my confidence and self-worth with the Single Parents and Teens Foundation of Dallas', never ending support and positive messages. Having participated in the annual show and met with the amazing models and support system provided through the foundation I have the confidence in myself and knowledge that if my depression comes back (as it does in life) I have support and a place to go that will always help me and others like me.

Aarionne Hobbs

Aarionne Hobbs (17): "I may not look like everyone else and I know that going to a new school wouldn't be easy." That's what I would tell myself when I was young. I had confidence in myself at the beginning I would be me, I would get the education I needed, I will succeed; or so I thought. Confidence is hard to hold on to when you are young.
I never fit in, I spoke proper English, carried myself in a mature manner (I am an old soul). When your young and in school others (Children) attack and hurt what they don't understand. So for me being me, I was an outcast. Children called me names, belittled my appearance (which my parents praised). I felt alone, lost, and unworthy of kindness. An older cousin of mine informed me about this foundation, that helps children, teens, and adults that deal with the same issues I have been trying to fix on my own.
I thought, "Hey this is what I need, I need support, I need the ability to express myself freely." Upon contact with The Single Parents and Teens Foundation of Dallas, I discovered a sanctuary for just what I needed. The programs they offer, the events they sponsor and the staff they have in place are what helped and continue to help me build the confidence in which people see in me today. I have embraced and realized that I am fearfully-wonderfully made, and I no longer allow bullying to determine my opinion of my self-worth. I will now go tell my story in hopes that I can build others up who may have been broken down and give them the confidence that they are fearfully-wonderfully made as well. I know that Single Parents and Teens foundation of Dallas will give me and others that opportunity.