We are thrilled to announce that we have chosen 3 winners of our first EmBraces essay contest!
Kaitlyn Henry, 16 years old from Gulf Breeze, Rilee Marshman, 10 years old from Pace, and Kyra Russell, 12 years old from Pensacola, were chosen based on their stories of overcoming bullying. Each winner will receive free orthodontic treatment from Fishbein Orthodontics!
Kaitlyn wrote in her essay that bullying has been a challenge that she has dealt with based on how she dresses, the music she listens to, and the appearance of her teeth. “As a result of the unkind names (and) comments about needing to have my teeth and smile fixed, I opted to just stop smiling,” she wrote. Kaitlyn found that she was able to use kindness to rise above her bullies. “Although I hid my smile, I’ve worked to overcome the stigma of not smiling by trying to be kind to those who aren’t so nice. It sounds pointless, but sometimes the reason behind bullying has nothing to do with those being bullied and a lot to do with the bully.”
Rilee found herself treating her own friends poorly out of frustration from being bullied, which she quickly realized was not a solution to the problem. “The last thing I wanted was to make my friends feel like me,” she says in her essay, “I knew what I had to do. I walked up to my bully and said, ‘I know what you’re doing is wrong, but I forgive you. Do you want to be my friend?'” Rilee found that sometimes bullying can be overcome by reaching out.
Kyra began being bullied in 3rd grade. She underwent physical and verbal attacks for several years and it affected the way she felt about going to school. Kyra’s family has helped her to cope with bullying, and she wants to spread the word about the reality that bullying still exists and the painful effect it can have.
Dr. Fishbein launched the EmBraces anti-bullying initiative to take a stand against bullying and educate students on the importance of accepting of others. EmBraces strives to reward champions of inclusiveness and positivity throughout the community, just like Kaitlyn, Rilee, and Kyra.
Throughout this program, we hope to build a network of young ambassadors that spread positivity and educate the importance of embracing others, and in addition to receiving free treatment, the three winners will be the first of the Fishbein’s EmBraces Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.
The second EmBraces contest begins February 23rd!
Students in Escambia, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa county public and private schools who are not current patients of Fishbein Orthodontics can submit their video or essay online from February 23, 2018 to April 13, 2018.
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