Since local resident Paige Glazier was bullied in high school, she has used her experiences to stop bullying in its tracks for other children, and organizations are taking note.
After verbal and social media threats kept her away from her South Surrey school for a year and a half, Glazier returned to classes in Grade 12, and to a bright orange graphic insult spray-painted across the outside of her school.
The incident moved Glazier, then 17, to found Team Orange, a pro-social organization that empowers children to embody the values of inclusion, loyalty and respect.
“I choose these words specifically because when I was doing research to develop the program, I discovered a consistent pattern from counsellors, teachers and parents that at a very young age children were already experiencing exclusion, betrayal and mistreatment,”
said Glazier. “Since I didn’t want to recreate an anti-bullying campaign, I chose to focus on the positive and create a fun, engaging way to teach and live by the three Team Orange world values.”
Now 20, Glazier’s community contributions through Team Orange are being recognized by local organizations through three prestigious award nominations.
The first two are through the YWCA, where Glazier is up for both the Women of Distinction Award and the Connecting the Community Award. The latter is determined through an online vote, and allows the winner to donate $10,000 to a YWCA program of their choosing.
The third nomination is for The Keg Spirit Foundation’s Chairman’s Award, which recognizes Keg Steakhouse + Bar employees who give back to their communities.
It also awards $5,000 to the charity of the winning recipient’s choice.
Though Glazier is now a busy bachelor of arts student studying marketing and communications at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), she has regularly spoken to classes and children over the past several years on positivity and kindness. She is also developing an app to provide young people with the tools they need to help them handle difficult times.
“The app is such an important part of my campaign, having such a helpful tool in your hands – literally, at all times – is like having a counsellor in your back pocket,” Glazier said. “I took everything I learned and what I found helpful, and was very lucky to have professionals and doctors from BC Children’s Hospital willing to lend their expertise for the app.”
Most recently, Glazier sent off a package to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with the goal of setting up a meeting to discuss making Team Orange a national campaign. “I’d like to do a presentation to his kids’ elementary school,” she said. “The best way to learn about Team Orange is to see how kids respond to it.”
Glazier has also written two books she hopes to have published within a year: one a Disney-esque version of her story for preschool-aged children, and the other for elementary schools. She hopes to use a portion of the proceeds to build a Team Orange community in a third-world country.
The YWCA’s Connecting the Community Award is determined through an online vote, which runs until May 13. Individuals can vote once every 24 hours, per computer. For information and to cast your vote, please visit the YWCA website.
To learn more about Glazier and Team Orange, visit www.teamorange.ca