Hello my beautiful readers,
With a stamp of accomplishment on my back and a jar full of fulfilment in my heart, I am beyond happy to say that I spent last Thursday inspiring school-aged children at two different events!
To begin my day, I went to Guardian Angels Catholic Elementary School to speak with the “Gifted Girls” club. This is a group run by student teachers to emphasize the importance of self respect and teaches girls how to embrace their inner beauty. What made this event even more special was that I am a former Guardian Angels graduate, which means that I have been in the exact same position as many of the children I was talking to. I shared a very personal story with these girls, involving my experience with bullying in my younger years:
Participating in the Vow of Silence at Guardian Angels. I am the third from the left in the third row!
Growing up, I participated in a series of activities that made me feel good about myself. Weather it be the eco-team, Christian leadership club or reading buddies, I was always working on a new project! Eventually, I started to realize that the other people my age weren’t interested in the same types of activities that I was. I also realized that what I was doing wasn’t considered ‘cool’ amongst my group of friends. Because of this, I was constantly being put down for the work that I was doing. It seemed as though the more I took on, the more I would be made fun of. Imagine being told that the activity that makes you the happiest, isn’t socially acceptable. Well, that’s exactly how I felt! Eventually, people started to make harsh comments and drove me to a point where I didn’t even want to go to school anymore. I remember asking my mom if the teasing would stop if I just quit all of my extra curricular’s. This meant no book club, no gymnastics, no pageants, and no fundraising initiatives… I was willing to give all of this up, just to ‘fit in’ with the kids at school. Thankfully, I had a very supportive mom who was able to remind me that things get better. She taught me that I should continue to reach for my stars and not allow anyone to hold me back. But of course, the teasing still continued. Finally, I decided to take this problem to my teacher. My caring, loving and devoted teacher instantly became a person that I could trust with my feelings. To this day, I can honestly say that Mrs. Bedford changed my life for the better. Besides my supportive family, she was one of the only people I felt like I could open up to. Not only did she listen to my troubles, but she also provided me with techniques on how to block the negative energy and focus on the positives in life. Through talking to Mrs. Bedford, I learned that things will always get better and that I should never get lost in a field of lambs, but rather be my own little lamb and stand out. Mrs. Bedford proved to me that there is absolutely no shame in speaking to an adult when you are being impacted negatively by the actions of others. Think of it this way, are you getting someone in trouble or helping someone get out of trouble?
If I managed to inspire just one student that day, I will consider myself to have been successful! Hopefully, I not only reached the hearts of the victims, but the bullies as well. With all of the physical and emotional changes happening to a child between grades 6 and 8, I understand that school can be a very challenging place to be. With that being said, bullying should never be tolerated; therefore, I strongly believe that it is crucial for every child to have a positive role model in their life. Luckily for me, mine was just a desk away! After speaking to the group of gifted girls, the teachers invited me into three other intermediate classrooms to touch upon the topic of bullying and respect. It was a pleasure sharing my story with these children, and of course, seeing all of my favourite teachers again (including Mrs. Bedford). Thank you Guardian Angels for having me, I hope to visit again soon!
Author Susan & I
My second event of the day focused on the importance of literacy. Along side children’s author Susan Aguilo, I opened Our Lady of Fatima’s celebration of Catholic Education Week with a speech regarding my views on literacy. I discussed ways in which I have managed to incorporate daily doses of literacy into my busy schedule and how fortunate we are to be provided with an education here in Canada. After the opening ceremony was complete, I was eager to circulate around the school and read all of the wonderful short stories each of the children had been working so hard on. Susan had been working with the students over a duration of 3 months to teach them how to create their own stories. Clearly the hard work had paid off, because each of the stories were professional and fun to read! With over 100 to choose from, I didn’t get a chance to read them all, but I’m sure that they were all great!
How cool are these picture book illustrations?
Thank you to Susan for inviting me and Our Lady of Fatima for hosting such a wonderful event. Congradulations to all of the successful authors of the night.
A bit longer then normal, but I had so much fun speaking to these audiences I just couldn’t wait to share it with you all! Once again, thank you for all of the constant support, I would not be where I am today without each and everyone one of you (and yes, I’m addressing both my haters & my motivators here).
Quick little side note: ONLY 2 MONTHS AND 17 DAYS UNTIL NATIONALS ! I AM SO EXCITED !!!!!!!!!
Michela P. <3