It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with my favorite teen philanthropist, author, and anti-bullying crusader, Alyssa Antoci. As one of Alyssa’s favorite activities is bringing her kindness message to schools, it’s been tough and a bit of an adjustment for her and her programs during this time.
I hope this blog finds you all safe and healthy during this unprecedented time in all of our lives. We have all had to change the way we are living due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I know I have! It has forced all of us to stay home and take a pause in our lives. It is so surreal and sad to see streets empty of people and cars, people wearing masks, watching people distance themselves from each other, and observing other things that I have never seen before.
Staying home has really changed my way of thinking and has made me so thankful that I have such a supportive loving family, food, and shelter. I have so much gratitude for even the simplest things I took for granted prior to this. I didn’t realize how much freedom I had in just being able to walk outside, go out with friends, or drive in my car to wherever I wanted to go. I’ve tried to look on the brighter side of things like teaching myself so many new things that I probably would never have had the time to do before.
I’ve been cooking and baking every day, making up new healthy recipes for my family. Every morning, I look forward to waking up and doing my everyday routine. I love to cook my family breakfast and lunch and help my mom with dinner. My tv binge and addiction has been a show called Revenge. We also have movie night once or twice a week as a family. I have developed new ways of working out using videos. I love taking my three dogs on walks around our neighborhood as we get to see a lot of friends that way. I’m also going on a lot of walks with friends keeping our distance of course.
My mom has been helping my sister and I find other new and creative outlets like making handmade scrubs, hand-sanitizers, tie-dying sweatsuits, and making gold bead bracelets. Staying home has really benefited me in many ways as I’ve learned so many new things I’ve never would’ve had time or desire for. I’ve also been working on myself and how I can become a better person through all of this. This time away from people also makes me realize who I want to keep in my life after quarantine. I’m still learning how to set healthy boundaries and having so much time alone to reflect and grow, makes me appreciate true friends. I’m sticking to being motivated, eating healthy, and working out daily instead of letting myself go, as it is very easy during this rough time. Since I was homeschooled before, online schooling isn’t much different, so I have been adapting quite well. I feel like even though the Corona Virus is crippling our society in so many ways, there are some things good coming out of this time. Without a lot of cars on the roads, air traffic and businesses running, we are limiting gases and pollution which is beneﬁting Global Warming. Also, hopefully, people are taking this time to work on themselves and create more quality time with loved ones. I also think more people are coming together as communities to help those who need help in some way during this time. My family and I are trying to do our part and keep our non-profit going to help young students who are feeling alone or bullied right now.
Strength Behind Stars is working on new creative ways to get our word and mission out to elementary school kids. We are teaming up with another non-profit called CHYP, which stands for Creative Healing for Youth in Pain, to get something online. Before quarantine, I had been speaking with many kids in after school programs and was about to start speaking at some LA schools as my book, The Purple Marble, was just welcomed into the district. I was so excited to speak to my largest audience of 600 elementary school kids about bullying from LAUSD on March 16th which happened to be the same day, all of the LAUSD schools closed down.
We also had to cancel four other speaking engagements for the month of March and now we will have to cancel indefinitely until schools open again. Also, right before we had to quarantine, a news station who was doing a segment on bullying interviewed me about my book, mission, and non-profit. Now that kids are home and resorting to social media to stay in touch with friends, I hope that cyberbullying doesn’t get worse. I really hope this will end soon and everyone stays inside and follows the necessary guidelines because we can’t risk this getting any worse. This has really been a valuable lesson for me and I’m sure all of us will be different people and have different views on life once all this is over.
I’m learning I can be content not going out all of the time constantly chasing life. Life can happen wherever you are as long as you are content with yourself and striving to grow as a person. I just have to fill in that busy time with more things that are bettering me as a person. I hope you all stay healthy. Thank you.
Thank you, Alyssa, for sharing your thoughts on this unique time and we all look forward to seeing you back in the classroom as soon as it’s safe.