June 24, 2017
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Pushed to the breaking point, she created an anti-bullying campaign at her high school

Meet Arielle Mathis, one of five teens spotlighted by Allstate at the Aspen Ideas Festival

Arielle Mathis, right, started an anti-bullying campaign at her high school. "I’ve been lucky that I can surround myself with friends and family who are there for me when I need them," she wrote. Photo courtesy of Arielle Mathis

EDITOR'S NOTE

Here on The Renewal Project, we often feature the stories of young people who are making a big difference in their communities. At this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival, which runs from June 22 to July 1, Allstate is sharing the stories of five individuals who have made a difference in their local communities, thanks to various organizations that it supports. Read all of their stories here. The Renewal Project is made possible by Allstate.

My name is Arielle Mathis. I’m 18 years old and recently graduated from Ace Technical Charter High School in Chicago. I’ve been a victim of bullying ever since I was in third grade.

I’ve been called fat, ugly, a pig, a dog; I’ve been told I would never have friends, I’ll never get married, nobody wants to be around someone who is as ugly as me. I was even picked on by this so-called clique of “popular girls.” They made my life hell. I had never been so mistreated. I wanted to give up.

I started an anti-bullying campaign at my school because every day students are being bullied or cyberbullied in America. Both children and teens are being pushed to their breaking point. Some end up committing suicide. They won’t get the chance to see what life has in store for them—their life is taken away because a group of kids, or even just one person, treated them like they were nobody.

I hope my campaign brings kids and teens together to stop bullying. One way they can do that is by gathering as a group and whoever has been bullied can share how they feel and ask questions about how they think they should approach it instead of letting that person get under their skin. Another idea is to start a social media page on Facebook where people who have been bullied can comfort one another. We need to find all types of ways to discuss how we can help stop bullying everywhere.

I’ve been lucky that I can surround myself with friends and family who are there for me when I need them. I survived high school and graduated. My adult life is just getting started. I’m excited to see what it has in store for me.

Arielle Mathis

Anti-bullying advocate

Arielle Mathis is a graduate of Ace Technical Charter High School in Chicago. She hopes to further her education in the fall at a local community college.