From Long Island, meet New York student leader Janae, Be Strong’s July 2021 Student of the Month!
“We need to love more and stop all of this hate. All of us are human and we should treat each other with love and respect.”
Beginning her junior year of high school this fall, Janae enjoys being involved in her school and community. With a love for giving back, she has been involved in community service initiatives over the past 10 years, even teaching three and four year-olds dance lessons.
Never afraid to speak up, Janae will always use her voice when a peer isn’t being treated fairly. Janae knows the importance of leading by example and making sure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. By being inclusive and kind to everyone, no one feels left out in her presence.
“I don’t like to see anyone being bullied. I remember in the first grade, we had an international student come to the school,” Janae recalled. “I did not like how some of the students treated him. I spoke to my mom about it. I started to tell my classmates that they needed to be nice and stop being mean. So even at a young age, I was not afraid to speak up.”
Janae chooses to approach everyone with love, kindness, and empathy. She sees all sides of the spectrum and can effectively de-escalate conflict by considering all sides of the situation. Expanding on a recent Be Strong resilience training session, Janae rhetorically asked, “Often in school, they say don’t be a bystander. I feel like this lesson showed how to be more effective because it gives you a different way of looking at it. So, if I were in a bully’s shoes, how would I want this situation to be handled? Or, if I was in the person being bullied’s shoes, how would I want to be helped?”
Janae believes in the importance of creating support systems so that everyone should feel like they have someone to talk to. Because being nice to others can have a profound impact on someone’s life.