Meet Student State Representative Saiyam, Be Strong’s May 2023 Student of the Month!
“It is not okay to let others treat you wrong, but it is important to learn how to react to people whose buckets are empty, which is why they may not be nice to you.”
Be Strong State Representative Saiyam, the May 2023 Student of the Month, understands that you can be a force for good even if you are young. Saiyam, 11, doesn’t even have a phone yet, but he understands how important it is to be kind and share resources to those who need them. A simple exchange on Facebook Marketplace led to Saiyam sharing Be Strong’s resources.
“In January, someone on Facebook wanted to buy shoes from my mom. When we checked her profile, she had written about how she was grateful to people who saved her from taking her own life,” Saiyam said. “We told her about the Be Strong App and she was thankful for that little guidance and support.”
Saiyam, a rising 6th grader, has been a student representative in North Carolina since September of last year. He became interested in Be Strong because of bullying he faced because of his culture.
“At that time, I was having my own battles with learning how to stand up for myself when someone would wipe my religious marking, called a tilak-chandlo, off my forehead. I would just let them do it because I was scared.”
Being a part of Be Strong has taught Saiyam to be kind to himself, and he believes in paying kindness forward. Last year he benefited from having a math mentor and then was able to return the favor by working with second graders. To practice inspiring others, last year, for 180 days, Saiyam would call others and share inspirational stories and practices.
“I called one doctor friend of my mum’s and he was upset at his coworkers that day and was going to write a harsh email to them, but after listening about how you can choose to be calm and kind, versus adding fuel to the fire–the doctor decided to change his email response.”
Saiyam’s hope is that mental health is incorporated into more of a student’s daily life. He would like to see it incorporated into classes like English and math. He knows that, like math, if you work on your mental health daily, you’ll see growth.
“Every day we learn about positivity, how to be kind, how to help other people, and how to react to things that are in our control or out of our control, we will get better at it.”
Saiyam said, “Although it takes a mango tree many years to grow, when it does, it’s sweet.”
To learn more about Be Strong’s free programs, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To nominate a student to lead change with Be Strong’s innovative student volunteer program, visit nominate.bestrong.global today.