Story by Monika Staszczak, Contributing writer
Lauren Galley is a teen mentor and a public speaker that has experienced bullying herself. By just talking to her friends, she realized that so many other girls can relate, and that it is worth talking about.
Now, as president and founder of non-profit organization Girls Above Society, she takes action to help teen and preteen girls with being positive, sharing this positivity and dealing with bullying.
There has always been the issue of bullying in schools.
But for many years now, it was a natural way for things to go – kids are cruel, it gets better once you get through high school.
Finally, victims of cruelty, humiliation and insecurities are taking action.
Murray State hosted one of Lauren Galley’s talks Sunday, where the Alpha Delta Pi sorority sisters had an opportunity to learn about benefits of staying positive and kind.
In a really personal, casual talk they shared personal experiences with the rest of sisters, and did bonding exercises.
The theme of the event was “#meanstinks”, one of many parts of Girls Above Society project.
Galley said the idea behind it is to “stop the idea that women – especially the sorority women, but women in general- are mean, or gossip, and make it the cool idea to be nicer.”
She said Girls Above Society started really small and locally.
“A Girl Scout troop was the first place I went to speak to.” Galley said. “I just came and told my story, and I was amazed how receptive they were. So, I said yeah, this is pretty cool, and then it just kinda built to what it is now.”
Talking to younger girls is an especially rewarding aspect for Lauren Galley.
“I got a message once saying, ‘I’m starting middle school this year and I’m so nervous, do you have any advice?’” Galley said. “And that’s such a cool feeling for me, to be able to help them with the small stuff.”
Helping with small, everyday issues on a personal, one-to-one level reassures her about how important it is to speak up.
Help does not stop with just speaking to those girls though, since a lot of times they need personal advice.
“I have a website, and so I always tell girls after I speak to send me a message, keep in touch,” Galley said.
The project is still growing and expanding.
“I would like to speak everywhere, maybe even further (than now),” Galley said.
The idea is to make this project national, and to involve other girls that could talk about their experiences.
Society has adapted a policy of silence on bullying and its causes – as long it is not visible, it is not a problem.
But what happens when someone speaks up? It might just happen that they help.