Kids can be bullied for all kinds of reasons

Kids can be bullied for all kinds of reasons. Catherine wrote about the bullying she faced growing up in the Native villages in Alaska and feeling like an “outsider” because she didn’t look like the other kids.

I grew up in “the bush”, also known as Native villages in Anchorage, Alaska, where taking the easy way out was never an option.

I felt what it was like to be discriminated against and to be the outcast. Young teenage boys were easily obliged by their friends to throw out names, discriminating against me and my race. I heard names comparing me to seagull feces, Wonder Bread, and other harsh words spoken in their native language. The fact that I had less melanin in my skin (I am white) seemed to bother them so much they felt the need to tell me. Instead of letting the hurt feelings and potential insecurity get to me, I changed that energy into something that turned out to be amazing. I began to hold my head high and to stick up for myself and others, too. I eventually made awesome friends, and after awhile, even befriended the boys that used to tease me.

Now that I have moved away, I can look back on my experience of feeling like an outcast and overcoming bullying to (one of) being proud. I stick up for my peers and anyone I feel needs the backup, and I live life as a free and happy girl that has the skin color of Wonder Bread, and loves herself.

We were introduced to Catherine when she was nominated as a Hero of the Month through our Hero facility YWCA Alaska. Our Hero of the Month program honors kids who have faced extremely difficult situations and done so with courage and bravery. At the time of her nomination, Catherine was a high school student who experienced harsh bullying as a member of a one of the few non-Native families in the community with a population of only 500. You can read Catherine’s Hero story to understand why we found her deserving of the award.

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