Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – Changing theYouth Through My Service

Name: Bisharat Khan
From: High Point, NC
Grade: College Freshmen
School: High Point University
Votes: 51


Cyberbullying–attacking or embarrassing someone via social media–has become one of our most prevalent problems. Millions of youths have been
affected by harassment, torture, and humiliation, resulting in
numerous deaths and suicide attempts. I’ve been a target of
cyberbullying myself, and when I was, I would have thoughts every day
of running away or even of ending my life. As the tentacles of social
media surround all of us more and more, parents must take a stand.
The best way to defeat cyberbullying is for those parents to get
involved in their children’s lives.

According to a recent study done by dosomething.org, over
80% of the teens use cell phones regularly, making these items the
most common medium for cyber bullying. Kids and teens are
consistently chatting with their friends and using social networking
sites.

And cyberbullies know this and use this knowledge to their advantage,
targeting and victimizing younger kids and former peers. Sadly,
parents often have no knowledge of the bullying their children face,
leaving cyberbullies free to harass, threaten, and frighten. The
first steps parents must take are to become aware of the amount of
time their children are using social media and to understand that
cyberbullying exists and is widespread. Parents should teach their
children to delete suspicious emails, to inform them of potential
cyberbullying, and to guide them to discernment regarding the motives
behind seemingly non-threatening messages. In short, parents need to
be very involved with their children’s online lives in order to help
mitigate the problem of cyberbullying.

As I mentioned, I was myself a long-time target of cyberbullying, and I
suffered in silence. A Pakistani American, I was teased for my
beliefs. I felt like dying, like I was a disgrace, like I was
useless. I would cry in my bed at night and believe that bullying was
going to be an incessant and unstoppable part of my life. Then, my
parents discovered the source of the anxiety they saw me
experiencing. They mentored me how to fight against cyberbullying,
and now, I want to ensure other kids don’t become victims.

Twice a week, on Monday and Thursday I go to elementary schools in our
community for 3-4 to mentor and educate children about cyberbullying
and how to avoid being a victim of it. I can’t bear watching others
going through what I went through because I truly can empathize with
their fear and suffering. It is every bit challenging to see little
kids filled with anxiety of bullying. I want to affect the change the
will rid future generations of cyberbullying, to do what I can to
delete this scourge once and for all. It is always a pleasure to see
and I always feel proud myself when seeing someone happy and feeling
free of threats when I lecture them. Coming back in 30 years, I will
see my influence because I know through my lectures I have made
someone’s day or someone life.


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