The #StepOut motto: “To inspire confidence and hope and inspire others to step out of their comfort zone in service to others.”
When Liz Moore returned from volunteering in the African village of Krobo in Ghana this past summer, the Skyline High School junior knew she wanted to do something in her hometown to keep her volunteer spirit alive.
At first, she wasn’t sure what that might be, but then she called upon a past experience, one some kids might just as soon forget.
“I was bullied as a freshman by a bunch of girls, and it had a very negative effect on me,” said Moore, 17. “I broke up with a boyfriend, and they were just picking on me, abusing me, talking behind my back, and I just didn’t know where to turn.
“I remember in the lunchroom, just standing there and not knowing where to sit, so I just went to the bathroom and ate my lunch by myself …”
It was that recollection that spurred Moore to start up a non-profit group called #StepOut, which seeks to offer a safe spot for those who have been bullied, while also trying to figure out the reasons why the bullies do what they do.
Of course, there were people at Skyline Moore could have turned to when she was bullied two years ago. But, sometimes when a young student is in the midst of bullying, they don’t think things through. And, there are resources today at Skyline that deal with preventing bullying before it gets started.
“There are plenty of programs at school that are good for us and deal with bullying,” Moore said. “#StepOut is just something extra, something I wanted to do.”
Following is the #StepOut motto: “To inspire confidence and hope and inspire others to step out of their comfort zone in service to others.”
The “service to others” is where Moore hopes to make a difference and where she sees her group as being a different way to deal with bullying.
“We not only want to offer a safe spot, a support group for kids to talk, but we want to get them together to go volunteer,” she said. “I remember when I was bullied as a freshman, my mom and I went and volunteered at a soup kitchen and it helped me gain perspective, to gain confidence.
“I want to do that for the kids who take part in #StepOut. Perspective and confidence go a long way to stopping bullying.”
Moore says it is not only the victim of bullying who needs attention.
“The people doing the bullying also are going through something,” she said. “You just don’t go around being mean to people for no reason unless you are going through something yourself. Yes, the victim needs our help, but the person doing the bullying shouldn’t be ignored.”
Contact information for #StepOut:
For more on Skyline’s Anti-Bullying Club
If you have a school club, group or organization you would like to see featured in WLAA, contact Terry Jacoby at email@example.com