CJ Talks About Bullying and Being a Student Leader at PALS

CJ Performing at Roosevelt High School in Washington, D.C.

My name is CJ and I’m a singer, composer, and first generation African-American born to an Egyptian father. I’m also a Peace Ambassador with NVEEE. This means I co-lead bullying prevention workshops in schools and community centers across the Country. I am a spokesperson for media interviews, and I am also a performer. I get to use my talents to make a difference and it’s a very therapeutic process in many ways.

I was drawn to volunteer with NVEEE because I have endured many different forms of bullying including cyber bullying, girl-to-girl-bullying, social alienation, and some forms of racial and ethnic bullying. I enjoy working with other youth who may be dealing with some of the same things I went through and still go through. My story is unique in some ways because my family had to get law enforcement involved after I received death threats, but in many other ways, it’s the same bullying that many other people deal with in school and even in the workplace. The difference is that I now have a group of people that empower me and show me kindness, love, and respect. I know that my value isn’t determined by others perception of me. That’s the kind of difference that is life-changing and life-saving.

I would encourage anyone who has ever been bullied or ostracized, is the type to stand up for others, or even if you’re looking for an opportunity to personally grow, meet new friends, and learn leadership skills, to considering joining me at NVEEE’s annual Peace Ambassador Leadership Summit (PALS). It changed my life.