Shacara McLaurin: From victim to victorious
SHAUN ARTS Special to the AmNews | 10/12/2011, 6:46 p.m.
The progress of McLaurin as she grows beyond her ordeal has led to her being named the New York Youth Ambassador for the national organization STOMP Out Bullying. She has already been booked for speaking engagements in three Harlem schools. During the Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series this summer in Brooklyn, McLaurin wowed the crowd with her version of the "Black National Anthem."
The former "American Idol" contestant and singer in Harlem's "Mama, I Want to Sing" admits with pride that her story has garnered support from people all over the country, receiving words of encouragement and well-wishes, along with messages from those who are dealing with being bullied.
One such story was that of Jaylin Strange, a 14-year-old from Maryland who would eat her lunch in the girls bathroom to stay away from her bully and was contemplating suicide because of the bullying. McLaurin said that when Strange's mother reached out to her for help with her daughter's seven-page letter, she states, "I told her to stay focused on schoolwork. I was basically encouraging her and she was concerned with what other people thought about her, and I told her to be concerned about what you think about yourself."
On the topic of the bully, McLaurin declares, "It is not just to punish the bully, but to find out what is wrong with the bully. I was watching 'Regis and Kelly,' and Kelly said, 'In my daughter's class, her teacher gave them a blank sheet of paper and told them to crumble it up, throw it on the floor. "Now pick up that piece of paper off the floor. You cannot undo what you have done to that paper." That is how bullying is-that piece of paper.' You cannot undo what you did. Calling a person a name, it sticks with a person. Be mindful of what you say. Practice kindness."
McLaurin has continued to find strength in her first year of college at Boricua College, guiding her inner ambitions of becoming a teacher. Elaborating on her future, she said, "I have such a passion for teaching and for children. When I was young, I used to line my dolls and teddy bears up and prepare them for class. I was Miss McLaurin then."
McLaurin intends to keep up her anti-bullying campaign and address the whole anti-bullying agenda. "I went from victim to victorious, and I want to stay that way."