Hi, my name is Jessica. I was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut.
About a week ago, a boy who attended Greenwich High School, Bart Palosz, took his own life due to incessant bullying. This hit way too close to home this time. You always hear stories in the news about kids being bullied to the point of committing suicide, and it breaks my heart each time….I always felt like “I wish there was more I could do for these kids”. Well now’s the time for me to step up, I don’t know how far this will go, but I’m hoping it gets out there, and maybe other people will be inspired to do the same.
Right now I’ll tell you a little about myself. I attended Greenwich Public School system up until high school graduation, and I was always picked on….It wasn’t taken as far as Bart was bullied, but I know how hard it can be growing up in a town where you really don’t fit in. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m short….I was always the shy one who never stood up for myself, and I had very few friends. I was on the high school cheerleading team, but that meant absolutely nothing. I was constantly alienated and being blamed for things that could go wrong, even if it wasn’t my fault. Throughout high school there were a lot of nights I would go home crying because someone had picked on me enough to make me feel bad, although I never let it show to them. It’s hard growing up in a town where you really just don’t fit in. High school was so hard for me that when it came time to apply for colleges, I didn’t even want to go. It seemed like a big scary world out there and I thought it would be just like high school.
My parents were very supportive…My dad said “Jess, why don’t you just apply? You don’t have to go, but just apply to college”…so I did, I applied to one school, Manhattanville in White Plains, and I submitted my application the day before the deadline. I got accepted. My dad said, “Jess, why don’t you go to the orientation? If you don’t like it, you don’t have to go, we are here to support your decisions”….I went to the orientation, and felt a little left out, but I thought maybe I would give it a try. My parents were happy to hear that I would give it a shot. And I’m glad I did….College is completely different than high school, and I graduated in 2009 with the best friends I could ever ask for.
I had a newfound confidence that I had got just from going to college…
Growing up I knew I was different…I knew I wanted to change the world, somehow…and my dad always said to me, I know you’ll make a difference, you’ll leave your mark. I do know that I am very different than a lot of people in this world, and would love to meet more people like myself who do believe they’re going to change the world, whether it’s one persons world or a million peoples worlds….I grew up listening to Michael Jackson….neither of my parents were an influence in that decision, I came upon it myself. As I grew older I learned a lot more about his life, his goals, and how he wanted to change the world, and he did. He has been my inspiration since a young girl, to want to make a difference.
So here I am, proposing an idea in hopes that it’ll get bigger. I hope to build a website where kids can come to talk, to feel safe, to know they are not being judged. I know there are blogs out there, and discussion sites, but no, I don’t want that kind of site. I know how hard it is to go to a trained professional to talk about your problems, been there, done that. It is also hard to talk to friends and family about what could be going on deep inside your mind. I want to build a site, where kids like this, can talk to other kids and young adults, who know that there is someone that cares, instead of someone who just comments on a post “suicide isn’t the answer”, etc. Yeah it’s nice to know that there are people out there who care…but one comment isn’t going to change a kids mind about ending his or her life. My website will have a chat, where people can contact me, and maybe if others want to volunteer their time to chat, them too. Anytime of the day or night, these people will know that someone out there truly cares, and wants to listen and help.