Airing weekdays at 7:30 A.M. on

Airing weekdays at 7:30 A.M. on

In a special edition of The Balancing Act, Olga Villaverde and Julie Moran sit down with some special youths and adults taking a stand against bullying.

Be Strong is an organization whose mission is to prevent bullying by providing a safe place for students to reveal challenges they are facing, training and equipping them to be resilient, arming students with information on local support services, and uniting them to bring about a positive change in themselves and their sphere of influence.

First, we hear from two teens, Jackson Destine and Stevencia Estime, who have drawn on their experiences of being bullied to help other students dealing with the effects of being bullied.

Then, we learn about We Dine Together, a completely student-led movement founded by high school student Denis Estimon, who felt isolated, especially at lunch, when he moved to the U.S. from Haiti in first grade. Estimon and the We Dine Alone organization believe that the foundation of these issues stems from an overwhelming sense of unhappiness from feelings of loneliness and isolation. As We Dine Together grew, it partnered with Be Strong, a national nonprofit focused on preventing bullying. Be Strong Executive Director Ashleigh Cromer is in the studio to talk about the organization’s genesis and its mission.

Next, Dr. Sameer Hinduja joins the show to talk about his research on cyberbullying, and how to prevent and address bullying at home and at school. Dr. Hinduja is a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.

Finally, Ayel Morgenstern, a 7-year-old resident of Parkland, Florida, is on a mission to change the world, with her mom Lauren championing her all the way. Ayel first received worldwide attention with her kindness rocks project after it went viral. Now Ayel has a new project called “Sunny Seats,” in which she is painting 17 seats to honor the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which occurred in her hometown on February 14.

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