To provide education and resources to our schools, our parents, and to our community about the impact bullying has on the bully, the bullied, and to the quality of life measurements of our state.
To change behaviors and attitudes as it relates to creating a kinder culture in Kentucky.
CHANGE can happen. PEOPLE can make it happen. The PEOPLE of KENTUCKY can do it FIRST. Kentucky leads the nation in teen suicide attempts! Kentucky can lead the way and set the example for other states to follow by making a firm statement that this will not happen in our state. Let’s stand united against acts of fear and violence that plague our students and our citizens. If we can change attitudes and behaviors with regard to smoking, drunk driving, and texting on our roadways, we CAN CHANGE the culture of bullying. It starts with us. It starts in KENTUCKY.
Three years ago when Morgan was just eight years old, she was bullied by a classmate. Morgan didn’t tell anyone and suffered in silence. Her mother discovered it but not before Morgan started experiencing stomach spasms and panic attacks. Morgan’s pediatrician diagnosed her as clinically depressed and prescribed anti-depressants.
Morgan’s mom, Susan, told her that bad things are going to happen in life and that Morgan could choose to ignore it, blame others, or be a part of the solution. Morgan chose to be a part of the solution and hasn’t looked back.
The duo started the Guess Anti-Bullying foundation and have become nationally recognized for their work. They have been featured on CNN and they co-wrote an opinion piece for the Huffington Post. Morgan will be featured in the November/December issue of American Girl magazine and Susan shared advice for parents for ExpertBeacon. The two were just appointed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to a statewide task force to tackle youth bullying.
Governor Beshear last year named Morgan as the Kentucky Youth Volunteer Service Award and in May she was named one of America’s Top 10 Youth Volunteers by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Harvard University’s “Making Caring Common Project” also named her their very first Caring Champion.
The two have raised nearly $50,000 and have used a good portion of the funds to bring speakers to local schools. They won a national social media contest to win a free screening of the movie “Bully.” Bully director Lee Hirsch also visited Paducah and the two offer to buy Bully movie educational toolkits for any school in Kentucky who will use it. Auhtor and activist Jodee Blanco spoke to 6,000 students in grades 4-12 in Morgan’s school district. Paducah school shooting survivor Missy Jenkins Smith spoke to Paducah middle school student. And, in January Stand for the Silent founder Kirk Smalley will speak to students in McCracken County.
They hosted the international Inside Out Project where they raised the faces and voices of Paducah girls who were bullied. They also started the Paducah Kindness Council where all segments of the community are encouraged to participate – students, parents, teachers, and community members. Their goal is to spread kindness in schools, on social media and all across their community. Morgan also started a Paducah Kids for Kindness Facebook page where she provides a space for kids to say nice things about one another.
They remained committed to changing the culture of bullying in Paducah and all across their state.
Read more about Susan
Susan is the senior vice president and marketing director for Paducah Bank. Susan won the Kentucky Volunteer Service in 1998 after she chaired a $100,000 memorial garden to honor three girls killed in the Heath High School shooting. She also won the national Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Service Award after starting Girl Scout troops in low income housing. She co-founded the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation three years ago with her 11 year old daugher. The duo have raised nearly $35,000 to support bully education and to fund special anti-bullying projects in the community. The Guess Foundation brought national author and activist Jodee Blanco to the community to speak to more than 6,000 students in grades 4-12. The mother/daughter team also brought Lee Hirsch to Paducah to host a special screening of the movie, BULLY. The organization has purchased educational tool kits for any school in Kentucky who is interested. Earlier this year Guess and her daughter volunteered at the BULLY movie offices in New York and were invited to co-write an op-ed piece for the Huffington Post for National Bully Prevention Month. The two were also recently featured in a CNN article on the topic. They are working to convince their Governor to appoint a statewide task force.
Read more about Morgan
content coming soon….