Mathew Kaplan, high school student, receives grant from Start A Snowball program because of his campaign to fight against bullying.
The teenager created an anti bullying awareness project titled “The Be O.N.E Project” which highlights the issue of bullying prevalent in many schools and institutions across the world. The youth came up with the idea when he discovered that his younger brother, an elementary school student had been receiving texts that said negative things like, “you suck” and “you’re a jerk” . Realizing that these text messages could have a harmful impact on his brother and other school going individuals, he decided to create this program to raise awareness and attention towards this problem.
The project aims to create events that focus on interactive games which encourage open communication, promote trust, motivation and confidence in children and help spread kindness and love around the community. Matthew wants to show that love and determination in any individual is a powerful weapon, and it can be used to discourage bullying. He continues to spread his anti bullying message across the Arizona state, and has been approached by several officials and school authorities for collaboration in other related projects so that his campaign can spread across the country. The grant money is expected to be used in social media outreach, and for having large national and even international scale events. Mathew also hopes that his project will spark some courage and confidence in those children who have been a victim of bullying.
The Be O.N.E. Project challenges students to focus on their similarities and to celebrate their differences. The ultimate aim of Be O.N.E. Project is to fight against bullying, encourage students to find their own voice and to support, love and motivate each other instead of spreading hate and being cruel towards one another.