How I Overcame Bullying: A 13-Year-Old Actress’ Inspiring Story
"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." - Walt Disney
This is the first video in a series highlighting resilient and inspiring people who have successfully overcome difficult obstacles in their lives. Today, we highlight the strength and confidence of Rachel Arianna, a 13-year-old from Trumbull, CT. Rachel has seen both success and bullying due to that success in her life. Rachel is an actress who has been in many commercials, Saturday Night Live and the movie "Lies I Told My Little Sister." She was bullied through social media and in school.
She believes that to stop bullying, both in and out of school, students need to talk to each other about it — and use the arts to kick start that conversation. Rachel started the program Words Can Soar in January of 2015 and created a large, anti-bullying mural in front of her school along with eight of her friends and Hillcrest Middle School.
“You can do a lot of different things as long as we are united in stepping up to bullying together," she added. “Nobody should feel like the victim of bullying and nobody should feel the need to do the bullying, and the best way to talk having peers talk to peers about it so we can all begin to understand each other better." It's hard to believe Rachel is only 13. She is such an incredible young lady. She can and WILL make a difference in this world! See more about what she is doing by checking out her website and Facebook page.
This video was produced by Tracy Chevrier and shot/edited by John Houghton. Want to see more HooplaHa Originals? Check out the HooplaHa YouTube page…and don't forget to smile!
Have you ever felt blinded by the difficulties of life and couldn't figure out where to turn? Meet Lorraine Trapani of Ridgefield, CT. Lorraine's husband tragically lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. After he passed, Lorraine did the best she could to distract herself with work, gaining nearly 100 pounds in the process. In efforts to implement better structure in her life, she became a raiser for Guiding Eyes For the Blind, a non profit organization that uses volunteers to train dogs for the blind and visually impaired. As part of the 12-16 month long process of socializing her guide dog Merrick, Lorraine saw Merrick helping her become better socialized as well, attending guide dog meetings and eventually joining a weight loss program! Before she knew it, Merrick was ready to fulfill his career as a guide dog and she had lost weight and gained a knew lease on life.
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In a sun-filled church in Stamford, Connecticut, a small group of young students sit with their musical instruments. Among them are many instruments you'd expect to see in a classroom—like violins and guitars—and also several that you may have never seen before, like the South American Charango and a Caribbean steel drum. That would give you your first hint that you're not looking at a standard music class. This is an INTEMPO class.