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A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story

March 02, 2015

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It’s been 6 months since we last sat with Lizzie Velasquez, 25 year old anti bullying activist. When we first met Lizzie she was sharing her story at the Life if Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas. This time around, Lizzie has something even BIGGER to share! We are pleased to announce her documentary is finished and Lizzie & her team are excited to share it with the world.

Kidzworld will be on site in Austin, Lizzie's hometown for the world premier. The documentary is showing at the SXSW 2015 film festival. 

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story Official Trailer

 

Lizzie as you know, we at Kidzworld are a large global community of kids and teens. We span every continent, every ethnicity, every religion, every gender.. we are as different from one another as we could be. Each one of us as unique as snowflakes, there are no two of us a-like. As much as we are very different in our locations, beliefs, cultures and customs there is a common thread that binds us – besides our all being human and from earth.. and that would be Bully’s. At one time or another, we have all had some kind of encounter with bully behavior, witnessing it, being the target of it, being one ourselves which is why it gives us such great pleasure to chat with you today and hopefully you can share with us some of your own personal experiences, and insights as well shed some light on your many projects helping to shift the bully movement into that of an ANTI-BULLY culture. 

Let’s start at the beginning. A quick snap into the current where-abouts of Lizzie V.

Kidzworld: Where are you currently living? How old are you?

  • Lizzie: Austin, Texas & 25

Kidzworld: It's inspiring to us that you are accomplishing so much as a young adult! :) 

Kidzworld: Do you have any brothers or sisters? 

  • Lizzie: I have two younger siblings. My sister, Marina is 20 years old and my brother, Chris is 16 years old. 

Kidzworld: What was your favorite family tradition growing up? Do you guys still do it together – even now that you are grown up?

  • Lizzie: I have a very large extended family on both my parents side. We are a very close knit family so any excuse to all get together, make tons of food, and enjoy each others company is my absolute favorite. 

Kidzworld: What was your favorite subject in school?

  • Lizzie: My favorite subject in school besides recess was English. I loved learning new styles or writing, learning about many different authors, and having the chance to let my imagination run wild. 

Kidzworld: We have many talented writers here at Kidzworld.com - Lot's of our members like to share thier blogs on thier profiles.

Kidzworld: Did you/Do you like music? What were/are some of your favorite songs?

  • Lizzie: I absolutely love music! I strongly believe that music can be very healing. Plus, who doesn’t love a good dance party? My favorite songs change weekly. There are way too many to name only a few. 

Kidzworld: When you were a little girl Lizzie, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  • Lizzie: When I was little I told my parents I wanted to be a waitress when I grew up.  I knew I wanted to help people in some way and at such a young age, being a waitress made perfect sense. 

Kidzworld: Haha, that's awesome! 

Help Lizzie put an end to bullyingHelp Lizzie put an end to bullyingCourtesy of Lizzie Velasquez

Lizzie on Bulllying

Kidzworld: Can you remember how old you were when you first experienced a bully? Can you describe what happened? 

  • Lizzie: I was five years old when I had my first experience of being bullied. It happened at school. I was called every name under the sun. 

Kidzworld: What did you do? Who did you tell? 

  • Lizzie: I was more confused than anything at the time because I couldn’t understand what I did to deserve other kids not being nice to me. I didn’t tell anyone what was going on for a good while. 

Kidzworld: :(  We have a personality on our site, her name is Dish-It. Dish –It is sort of the resident advice giver and according to Dish-It over 75% of the questions she get’s asked have to do with bully trouble. 

Kidzworld: Now that you have decided to dedicate your time to anti bullying activism – I was wondering if you had any advice for our KW members that might be dealing with a bully on-line or at school. Do you have any best practices?

  • Lizzie: My best piece of advice for anyone being bullied online or in person is to always keep in mind that the person who is being mean might be going through something not so great in their own lives.  Unfortunately the only way for them to cope is to make other people feel bad. 

Kidzworld: You told your story on a TEDTalk in front of thousands of people, was that scary? How did you prepare for it? 

  • Lizzie: Prior to my TEDTalk, I had been doing public speaking for 7 years. I had my talk for TedxAustinWomen planned out weeks in advance.  As I walked onto the stage I decided to change my entire speech.  I took a deep breath and told myself to just pretend I’m having a conversation with my best friend.  The rest is history! 

Kidzworld: What’s one thing that you are most proud of, in your journey as an anti bullying activist? 

  • Lizzie: One thing I am most proud of is the fact that I am able to share with the world my story but at the same time be the voice for those who have ever been bullied or felt victimized at some point in their lives. For that I will be forever grateful. 

Lizzie on her own High Road

Kidzworld: Tell us about the online campaign High Road? 

  • Lizzie: I spend a lot of time on social media.  One thing that kept being brought to my attention was the awful cycle of negativity in comments. There could be ten positive comments and then one person says something not so positive.  Immediately the previous positive comments turn into attacking the one negative comment. Our hope with the High Road campaign is instead of fighting back with mean words, someone can simply write “See you on the high road.” 

The Lizzie Project - 'High Road' Movement Trailer

Your Documentary; A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velazquez Story is going to be premiered at the film festival, SXSW. Congratulations on the completion of this project, we know you went to the public for crowd-funding. Determined and inspiring! 

Kidzworld: What’s next? What would you like to see happen with the release of the film?

  • Lizzie: Our entire team poured our hearts and souls into this film. Now that it’s done I can’t wait to see the life the movie takes on next. My biggest hope is that when people of any age see the film that they leave feeling inspired and ready to stand next to me to help make a positive change in the world. 

Kidzworld:  Where do you hope to see the anti bullying movement in 5 years, what will that look like to you? 

  • Lizzie: In the next 5 years I hope to see the anti bullying movement still going strong. I hope the Safe Schools Improvement Act will be passed and that there will be more people working to help protect those who have been bullied. 

Kidzworld: Thank you Lizzie so kindly for taking the time to interview with us, we are looking forward to seeing you at the screening of the movie at SXSW. 

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story Movie PosterA Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story Movie PosterCourtesy of Lizzie Velasquez

Have Your Say

Have you been bullied before, in real life or online? Did you take the Highroad? Share your thoughts in the comments below.