By Staff Writer Shivani Avasarala
Boldly Me, a national non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of mental health and self-acceptance, delivered a presentation to students during advisory on November 3 in C-120.
Boldly Me is a volunteer-run organization that strives to help give individuals the tools they need to transcend physical differences so they can love and accept themselves as they naturally are. Established by Alanna Powell in 2012, the organization offers classes and recreational activities on topics including self-compassion, physical well-being, and financial stability. They also conduct hospital and non-profit visits, as well as presentations at elementary, junior-high, and high schools across the Bay Area. Previous successful initiatives include the BoldQuest Program, designed to help students in middle and high school develop leadership and presentation skills. In this program, students go through basic self-esteem and communications training, and later use these skills to create action plans for problems at school.
The presentation commenced with a short video, introducing Boldly Me and featuring volunteers and participants along with their opinions on the impact of the motivational group. Students received a concise self-esteem scale worksheet to read and follow throughout of the presentation. Powell began with an introduction of the organization by discussing her personal journey as a youth, struggling to overcome her differences, and how she grew towards a change in perspective to ultimately accept herself. Boldly Me counselor and trainer, Karen Haughey, offered insight on the mission of the organization, providing students with her background and experience working with Boldly Me. During the presentation, students also participated in an interactive group activity in which they shared their future aspirations and goals, discussing their takes on the subject of self-acceptance and security.
Powell was inspired to found this organization after coming to terms with her own physical distinction, baldness. After enduring strenuous treatments and losing her hair numerous times throughout her childhood and adolescence, Powell arrived at the decision to discontinue treatments and embrace her condition as a part of herself. Realizing her genuine passion for social outreach after years of working in a corporation, Powell, with encouragement from her friends and colleagues, ultimately decided to pursue her interests and established Boldly Me as a means to reach out to individuals who were dealing with similar issues. On the impact of this organization, Powell said, “Boldly Me is a way of life. It’s about finding gravity and happiness in everything that you do.”
In the future, Boldly Me plans to advocate their message on an international level and hopes to visit more schools and share the importance of self-acceptance.
Photos by Staff Writer Shivani Avasarala