Girls Rock! Awards Community Organizing Winner 2013:
Jasmine and Christina Smedberg, age 13 from Waterville

Last October, Jasmine and Christina, seventh graders at Waterville Junior High School, stood in front of a crowd at the Concourse, wearing t-shirts they had decorated in brightly colored anti-bullying messages. The twins had organized what they hoped to be the first of many 5K walks to raise awareness about bullying. After struggling with bullying themselves, they wanted to be able to stand up to all bullies, not just their own. The walk was a huge success! They had a great turn out. Karen Heck, Waterville’s Mayor, and members of the U.S. Marshals Service attended. A group of supporters traveled all the way from Portland.

Christina and Jasmine worked with news stations and city councilors, and enlisted the help of their friends and family to be successful in all of their fundraising, planning, and advertising. The girls weren’t content, however, with just having their fall awareness walk. In February they planned an awareness dance, and raised $154 dollars for their school. They are currently planning another 5K walk for April 20th, 2013. The money raised from all of their future 5Ks will go to other school systems that do not have any programs implemented to prevent bullying.

Christina and Jasmine have become role models to many students at Waterville Junior High School. When the girls got on the bus the Monday morning after their 5k awareness walk they received a standing ovation from their fellow students. Their mom said she could hear cheering on the bus from inside their home.

The twins are excited that they are being recognized by other organizations for their activism and hard work. They have been invited to speak at Project Reach, an organization providing more educational options to ESL students at Messalonskee High School. They hope that Governor Lepage will attend. They would like to have the opportunity to speak to him in person about how he can help in their fight against bullying.

Congratulations to Jasmine and Christina for their bravery and commitment to making their communities safer for all youth and for winning this year’s Girls Rock Award for Community Organizing!  Hear the rest of their story and their advice to girls and victims of bullying below!

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