When she isn’t spending her time pursuing her blossoming acting career or excelling in the online classroom, Teshi Thomas, 15, is an anti-bullying activist. Teshi has been a star student at Nevada Virtual Academy (NVVA) since the 5th grade, making the switch to online school after being bullied at her brick-and-mortar school. Drawing on her personal experiences as a bullying victim, Teshi wants to deliver positive change as a spokesperson and radio host for the anti-bullying initiative, Bully Busters 702.
Balancing academics, acting, and advocacy may seem overwhelming to some, yet Teshi credits prioritization and organization as the tactics that help her thrive in all of her endeavors. Whether she is learning her rigorous NVVA curriculum or traveling out of town for auditions, she can do it all with her time management skills and the accommodating nature of online school.
Teshi’s training with Bully Busters empowers her to make an impact with youth to engage their circumstance and cultivate a positive community change. Through the radio show, Teshi continues to encourage children to speak up and report if they’re being bullied. “Being a spokesperson for Bully Busters 702 has given me a voice, and I’ve learned to stay faithful and true to my collective peers as they pay it forward. That’s what I hope to pass on to everyone,” Teshi says. “Whether you want to be an entertainer or a chef, you can’t let anyone sidetrack you from your goals in life.”
Teshi encourages victims of bullying to follow these steps:
- Talk to a trusted adult. It’s important to be heard by the right person.
- Start a journal including the who, what, when and where of an attack.
- Avoid dangerous areas.
- Dial 911, if in immediate danger.
- Activate the free app Bully Busters 702.
“Remember: Confidence is key,” Teshi says. “Don’t let that bully stop you from being yourself. Be kind, stay strong, and everything will be fine.”