Anna Holcombe, as told to Sharon Burton, U.S. Department of Education:
Hello, I am Anna Holcombe, a “4-Her” from Canon, Ga. I am 15 years old. 4-H is one of the largest youth development programs in the world and it is committed to educating youth on all aspects of bullying. One day at my county 4-H, I was assigned to make a tri-fold on bullying. After a few hours of research, I found myself in awe of all the things I was unaware of before beginning my study. Automatically, I felt the need to stand up for these children and teens.
Last year, the opportunity was presented to me to teach a group of Georgia Cyber Academy children a bullying prevention game. It worked so well that I taught it again to a group of “4-Hers” at a Statewide event last fall. Over the past two years, I have taught many classes about bullying to 4-H groups of all ages.
Last summer, I was asked to speak on a youth panel at the 2012 Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit Washington, D.C. about my experience with bullying. It was such an honor to not only attend but to speak at this summit. Meeting people there who share the same goals as I do about bullying was astonishing. While I was attending the summit I was interviewed by Fox 5 news, and various other people about my bullying experience. It was such an honor to be a part of such a great event. I am also a member of the NO BULL youth advisory council for the Great American No Bull Challenge. I continue to teach bullying classes throughout the year to youth of all different ages and backgrounds and share my experiences and knowledge with others.
We tend to shy away from confrontation. I have learned that leadership starts with me taking the first step. Many others will join your efforts once a movement has begun. This would be my hope for this challenge to end bullying. I may not be able to stand up against millions of people alone to protest bullying but when joined together with other passionate individuals, we can stop bullying and make the world, and millions of victim’s lives, better.