Dear Scary Guy,
My name is Amanda and I work for a program called Upward Bound, which is a college prep program for high school students. Upward Bound includes about sixty-five high school students and about twelve adults.
I’m not sure if you are aware of the goings on in Oklahoma, but two months ago, an 11-year-old boy named Ty Smalley took his own life because he was bullied so much at school. Mark Brennaman has been working with the Smalley family since the loss of their son. He came and spoke to the program yesterday afternoon where he showed us a video of you on Youtube.com. I was fascinated to say the least. I was inspired, as were many of the students. After we watched your video, one of the students suggested that we take on the “Seven Day; Seven Night Challenge.” We started this morning at 7 a.m. and so far the students have embraced the Challenge incredibly.
At Upward Bound, we have started our own program called Stand For The Silent. The students have organized this entire thing on their own. They came up with pledge cards to stop bullying in schools. There is a driver who busses students to the program who coined a phrase for us. “I Am Somebody.” The students decided that when you pledge and get a pledge card, you would also get a bracelet that says “I Am Somebody.” and on the back of the bracelet would be the initials of the boy, Ty Smalley.
You have been such an inspiration to our effort and I just wanted to tell you that the work you have been doing for the past seven years is absolutely incredible. I want to thank you for your message. I know this program, and myself, has greatly benefitted in just one day.