Together we are stronger.
Together we lift each other up.
Together we survive.
You are not alone.
My Story: Samantha Sewell
With this crown and sash, I’ve attended over 60 events and have spoken about Live Out Loud Charity at most of them. I was interviewed by my local paper, my local radio, my international radio, on SportsNet, my local news, and spoke with famous individuals such as Dallas Smith, who I also shared a stage with.
Live Out Loud Charity has given me the training to do all of this. However, there was a time in my life when no one, not even myself, would have thought this was possible. When I was a little girl, my parents were told that I had a severe speech impediment and that there was a chance I would never be able to speak. As it was explained to me, I would cut the first and last sound off of every single word I would speak.
And if that wasn’t hard enough for a young girl to go through, what happened next was worse. When I went to school, I had to go through speech therapy, learn American Sign Language, and carry a picture book which was binder full of pictures I would point at to communicate. This book went everywhere with me and as you can imagine, I got bullied because of it. My peers would tell me that I didn’t belong at a regular school or that I was a retard. I got used to this. It was just another part of my life.
When I started high school is when it reached the all-time low. Walking down the halls, I would hear whispers about me. I would come to school and these people’s comments would be on my locker wall. The lock on my locker had been smashed in and I had to replace that lock eight times.
In grade 9, I had a teacher tell me I was stupid and that I was a retard. She removed me from the class. I was not welcome in her class. She had me in a small room that I couldn’t reach my arms across and this where I did my work every single day. I would not have made it through this class, if it weren’t for my mother, who came in every day to try and help me end this harassment.
I went home every single day crying and begging to be pulled from school. School was a place that I pretty much liked before this class, but now school was my own personal hell. Out of all the teachers I had, not one cared. Not one noticed that I was sad and afraid to come to this place.
Then all of a sudden my mom got a call from a teacher, let’s call him Mr. David. He cared. I did not have this teacher and I did not know who he was, but some senior girls notified him that I was being bullied. He phoned my mom to tell her that he was going to try to end it, as the principal was going nothing.
Mr. David had my locker moved next to one of the senior girls, who had notified him of what was going on. That semester, I ended up getting Mr. David at the same time I had this teacher that was bullying me. I was able to go into that small room every day and just count down the minutes, knowing that I would be in Mr. David’s classroom next and be safe from the bullying.
When I graduated high school in 2016, I owed it all to him that I was still in high school and never dropped out. I won the Principal’s Choice Award that year and Mr. David presented the award to me. I let me know how much that small action meant to me and how much it changed my life.
He had to think about it. He had no idea what I was talking about. It was not a big deal to him. However, to me it was the biggest.
This past year I’ve shared my story with thousands of people worldwide, telling them that sometimes a smile may just be a smile to you or in this case, a phone call, just a phone call. However, to someone else it can change the way they see the world and give them the hope to hold on.
My dream has been to share my story with the world, spreading hope and awareness to all those who are being bullied and all those who have been bullied. Live Out Loud Charity and Sherrie have made it all possible. This year speaking to everyone from schools to nurses in BC (British Columbia) Children’s Hospitals to celebrities has been a dream come true.
Sherrie and LOLC have done so much for me. This year with their help, I awarded an international award – the 2017 Global Change Leader Award. The struggles I have gone through have made me a strong person and I’m honored to be here today. Thank you Sherrie for all your support this year and for building this amazing charity that really gives hope to millions of people worldwide. And thank you to my biggest supporter, my mom…I love you mom, thank you for being my best friend. ~Samantha Sewell, Miss Ultimate Worldwide Ambassador, Canada