Thursday, January 5, 2017

Spring Into 2017

Hello Bashers! It is now 2017, a year that I have been waiting for because it has so many important events! I turn 18 in April, have my senior prom, and I graduate from high school (in 133 days), just to name a few. I am very eager for all of my new adventures and lessons this year has in store. I am also very excited to continue to expand the Bash Out Bullying brand this year! I am so grateful for all the support and am cannot wait to share new things with you all! I have an overall New Years Resolution to be determined! For me being determined means continuing to push even when there are setbacks or struggles. I am determined to end my school year with a bang and start my college life on a great note! So let's spring into 2017 with open hearts, minds and ideas!

Stay strong & stay positive,
Courtney Jay 💜

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Blue Hearts 💙

"Blue hearts for her beautiful blue eyes," is what students at Texas City High School are saying about Brandy Vela. Brandy was 18 years old and took her own life due to bullying.

Brandy was relentlessly bullied about her weight and the bullying became worse in April. People would make up fake Facebook pages and say mean things about her. She would ignore them, but they were very persistent. Brandy even changed her phone number and went to the police who said they could not help her. The Texas Police Department could not trace back to the source of the bullying due to the bullies using an untraceable app.

She shot and killed herself in front of her family as they pleaded her not to. Bullying is serious and is taking innocent lives every single day. This is a really strong message to stop bullying and to simply be kind. We do not want anymore innocent lives to end.

Stay Strong & Stay Positive,
Courtney Jay 💙

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Love Trumps Hate

Since the election of the 45th president took place over 600 hate crimes have taken place. About 65% of the crimes took place three days after the election. The examples are countless, but I will name a few. In Washington a racial slur was spray painted on the side of Spokane's Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center. The director of the center said that children saw the graffiti before going to school. Another example is a teen in California said that white students painted 'whites only' above a few water fountains.

The hate crimes are not only race related, but they surround the LGBTQ community, women, immigrants, and other religious groups as well. Many of these hate crimes are to intimidate these groups and dehumanize them. I believe it is safe to say that Donald Trump has a part to play in this. During his campaign he said things such as, " We have to have a wall. We have to have a border. And in that wall we're going to have a big fat door where people can come into the country, but they have to come in legally." He also talked about women and how it is very hard to be a 10 if you are flat chested.

During a time like this many people are scared. Scared for the future and scared that people they thought were on their side were secretly supporting someone against them. So let's spread love and inclusion! Let us use this time to become stronger and build together. Lastly, remember that love always trumps hate!

Stay strong & stay positive,
Courtney Jay 💜

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Off The Grid

Off the grid…
Hey everyone! I know I have been off the grid for a while and I am so sorry! As you know it’s my senior year of high school and it has been busy and hectic to say the least! Where do I start, I was one of the cheer captains for my school’s football cheer squad, I am a member of student council, I am a Peer Minister at school, I’m in TASH a program through Planned Parenthood and a college prep program Strive through Washington University just to name a few things. I’ve also been finishing up college visits, college applications and searching for scholarships opportunities too, every day I have a to-do list with a goal of marking off as many tasks as possible!

While I have been off the grid as for as writing on my blog, I still try my best to post on my social media pages and re-share stories about bullying and neat and interesting articles about positive friendships. I’ve also had several speaking engagements with various youth groups sharing my story about being bullied and spreading more awareness about bullying. The last two groups that I spoke with were so interactive and engaging, you would be surprised to learn how many people are affected by bullying. No matter how you try to look at it, justify it, make sense of it, it’s just not right. No one wants anyone being mean to them, excluding them, teasing them, bullying them via social media, it’s all cruel. One thing that doesn’t fall off the grid are the numerous inbox messages that I receive from others asking for advice, tips, and suggestions on how to deal about bullying and on how to decide who would be a genuine, nice person to consider a friend. I also reach out to families who may have suffered a loss because of being bullied, when will this senseless mess stop, too many people are losing their lives.

Me and my parents are going out of town to Atlanta this upcoming weekend to visit some more colleges, I am looking forward to seeing friends that I have down there, and meeting the new prospective students on the college visits! I am working on selecting a person who has experienced being bullied or even the bully himself to give them something special! So if you know someone send them my way!

Some key takeaways that I have learned since my last writing:
-I will always continue to treat others how I want to be treated.
-I love working with the youth and hearing their stories it warms my heart because “bullying” is something that is swept under the rug.
-Bullying affects everyone we have all seen bullying in our recent polls between candidates and even on professional sports teams.
-People still don’t care about this mean epidemic until it hits close to home for them, but what ever happened to doing the right thing?

Stay strong & stay positive,
Courtney Jay 💜

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Back To School Bashers

Hello Bashers!

I am so sorry that I haven't posted, but school has started! This is my senior year of high school and it is already filled with so many things to do. I have so many Bash Out Bullying presentations, football games to cheer at, student council meetings, peer ministry meetings, and many other things. I will try to blog as frequently as possible, and will looking for people to join the BOB team and help out! If you are interested or know someone who may want to contribute some stories to my blog please let me know! With that being said, I hope everyone is having an awesome school year so far! 

Stay Strong & Stay Positive,
Courtney Jay 💜

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Future Leaders !

Hello Bashers! I had the opportunity to attend the YWCA Future Leaders Program and had an amazing time! I met 13 other beautiful young women leaders as well as met so many positive women in the YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) community! We had several team building experiences and my personal favorite was rock climbing at Upper Limits! We had to do many group challenges which involved trust and problem-solving. Everyday we had the chance to speak with powerful women all over the St.Louis community and I learned so much! I am so grateful for the connections I made at the program with not only influential women, but the young women in the program next to me! The last day we had to explain what our favorite part of program was, I chose the relationships I built with the girls. I read this poem to everyone:

Wherever life takes me
Whatever hills I may climb
Or tumble down:
Whatever joy I feel
Or whatever makes me frown:
 I'm so glad I met friends like you to along:
To have a friend like you through it all

~ Anonymous 



Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Big Apple

Good Morning Bashers! It has been two long blog-less weeks so I hope you are all ready! I am very excited to tell you all about my trip in New York that will be broken up into a few blogs!

Day 1:

So for those of you who don't know, I was picked for the ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum in New York! I had never been to NY so I couldn't wait! I woke up on Tuesday morning ready to embark on my new adventure. My mom drove me to the airport and I waited about an hour before boarding my flight to Newark! Once I arrived in Newark I had a bit of a challenge finding my bags, but with a little help everything was okay! I then met about 10 ANNpower fellows as we boarded a truck to our hotel, Intercontinental Times Square!

After about an hour drive (due to traffic) we arrived at out hotel to meet the other ANNpower fellows! I initially found my roommate named Leigh from Louisiana! Once all 50 of us were situated into the hotel we were told it was time to go to the ANN Inc. offices, which is the office for Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lou & Grey. We stepped into Times Square and I was immediately overwhelmed with happiness! I loved the atmosphere of so many people and there was music everywhere. The walk to ANN Inc. was only 8 minutes (probably should have been shorter, but I kept stopping to take pictures lol.)

We then entered the building with hundreds of floors and found our designated room that said, "Welcome ANNpower Fellows." I spotted a light purple name tag that had my name on it and realized that this was all real! The first person we met was Mr. Gary Muto the CEO of ANN Inc., who welcomed us to the program! Throughout the rest of the day we had group activities to get to know each other, which us where I met a girl named Caitlyn and we immediately clicked! We then met our Vital Voices mentors who were women who have done extraordinary things in their community! Our last presentation for the day was about how to present yourself online and offline. After a very long day we went to dinner at Carmine's! The first day of my trip really opened my eyes to so much and I could not wait for the rest of the trip!

Stay tuned for Day 2 of my adventure!!

Stay strong & stay positive,
Courtney Jay 💜