(THEN): My name is Alex and I want to start out by saying, I was bullied as a child. I was a heavier kid who wore huge adult-sized glasses and I was definitely big into my school work. I was picked on and had kids knock books and folders right out of my hand and laugh at me as everything spread through the halls. A couple of kids used my own tie for a presentation one time to start to choke me until I got loose. On the bus, it wasn't any easier and I wound up sitting in the back aisle until a seat opened up. My home life was even worse with my own father picking on me and calling me gay (I am heterosexual) and a girl and it went beyond that with his words, among other things. Fast forward to college, after several relationships that crashed and burned around me, I find out my issues are an underlying disorder. It was thought to be anxiety from my childhood, and I was given medication. Things took a turn for the worst, and I attempted to overdose on a concoction of pills and alcohol. In the midst of ending things while in tears, my college roommate found me and stopped me from continuing what I had started. The next few years living with, what was found to be, bipolar disorder were very difficult.
(NOW): I am a 23 year old successful college graduate. I am beginning my new job with a great company as a Product Data Analyst. I have the most amazing girlfriend who is more supportive than anyone I've ever known. I will be getting my own apartment soon and already have a brand new car. Things are good. The past hasn't held me back. I am me. I have persevered. Nothing can hold someone back, even in our darkest hours. Only we control our destiny.
(MY GOAL): This fundraiser is for me to start traveling around to schools - across the city, at first, and maybe the state/country if it goes well - and doing events with the students. I plan on giving motivational speeches to let them know they are not alone, and others have gone through what they have endured. I would like to tell them what I've gone through. I want them to know that I've been picked on and sat in the back of classrooms hoping not to be seen. I would like to try to educate schools and develop better methods for dealing with bullies. Also, I want to teach kids that bullying only harms others and they should know why it is wrong. Any money that can possibly go towards this cause will be very helpful as the school year begins to approach again. I want to start making a real change and touch the lives of students across this great country. I hope you can help, and God Bless.