"Helping others helps you become a better, stronger person with self-confidence."
Drew Landry, 13, of Saco, Maine, visits schools to speak about bully prevention and to help children understand what they can do if they are bullied.
What kind of philanthropic or volunteer work did/do you do?
Drew: I visit primary schools and speak about bullying prevention and my experiences about being bullied and how I worked at the state level to help pass an anti-bully bill.
What is the name and location of the organization?
Drew: Crossroads in Saco, Maine.
Tell us about the project, especially who benefits from this work.
Drew: I do a one hour presentation on "Making a Difference" to students in grades K-5. I talk about being a STANDbyer, what the different types of bullying are, the signs of depression, and what they can do about it.
What inspired you to get involved?
Drew: I was threatened by an older student, and although it was handled quickly by the school and my parents, I became depressed. I speak to kids so they don't have to go through with what I did.
How did you first get involved? Through school? Your parents? Give us some details.
Drew: Mostly from the organization my parents run, Crossroads, which is a self esteem, youth empowerment organization. My mother is a member of the Maine State Safe School Climate. One of the things we found out was that Maine has the eleventh highest suicide rate in the country.
What is/was the best thing about your experience?
Drew: I have been on TV interviews, won a few awards and my mom wrote a children's book about my experiences. I also was featured in the National Weekly Readers.
What is/was the hardest part?
Drew: Remembering how I felt when I was depressed.
What was the biggest surprise?
Drew: I am surprised how many children don't know what to do if they are bullied and intimidated, or if it is really happening to them. Most of all, I am surprised that people listen to my story and care.
What new things have you learned as a result of your experience and how have you changed as a result?
Drew: I have learned that I am a good speaker and most of all that I can make a difference if I stand up for what I believe.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting involved in philanthropy or volunteering?
Drew: Find something that you know about or like to do and volunteer, because you learn so much about yourself and others. It is great therapy for you and the people you help. Helping others helps you become a better, stronger person with self-confidence.
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