We are thrilled to announce that we have chosen 3 winners of our third EmBraces contest!
Leondra (Grade 11), N’Jhari from Tampa, Florida (Grade 12), and Krissy from Gulf Breeze, Florida (Grade 8) were chosen based on their stories of overcoming bullying. Each winner will receive free orthodontic treatment from Fishbein Orthodontics!
Leondra was in elementary school when she had an accident causing her front tooth to come out from the root and force a shift in her remaining front teeth. Middle School became tough for Leondra, as her classmates made fun of her and posted pictures impersonating Leondra’s unique dental condition to social platforms, like Facebook.
Throughout 8th grade, Leondra was ashamed of her teeth, and she wouldn’t smile. She felt very confused at why her classmates would find her condition funny. Entering high school, Leondra finally found relief from her bullying classmates. She made positive changes in her life, and began using social media less and surrounding herself instead with positive friends.
Leondra hoped for a better smile for her upcoming senior portrait pictures. Congratulations Leondra! We’re happy to help.
N’Jhari Jackson from Tampa, Florida admires his friend “Wendel.” He sees Wendel’s strengths as well as his pain. He and Wendel have a close, respected bond, similar to that of siblings.
Wendel is the coolest “unpopular kid” N’Jhari knows. He has taught N’Jhari many things through his unwavering intelligence and impressive memory. By Wendel’s actions, N’Jhari finds empowerment in embracing your own voice. “No voice should control who you are,” he says.
N’Jhari shares some wisdom with us in his winning piece, “Never give up on yourself or a friend. When you see a classmate struggling to find their voice, it’s okay to be kind. Use your voice; you have a choice!”
As his winning request, N’Jhari asked to donate his free orthodontic treatment to his friend, Wendel, who is currently living in Tampa, Florida. We’re happy to say that through a partnership with another orthodontist in Tampa, we were able to ensure that both N’Jhari and Wendel could receive free orthodontic treatment!
“Though my smile can use some sprucing up, I’d like to donate a smile to my friend [Wendel], because I haven’t seen it in a while,” says N’Jhari.
Way to go, N’Jhari, you have a great head on your shoulders!
Krissy from Gulf Breeze, Florida has wished for braces since she was 10 years old.
At age 10, Krissy lost one of her central incisors. The feedback she received from her classmates was much worse than she’d imagined. Her classmates’ mean words hindered Krissy’s sense of happiness and self love.
At age 12, Krissy’s tooth started to grow back, except noticeably half the size of the others. She stopped smiling in public and practiced in the mirror for hours the night before picture day. At age 14, Krissy came to terms with her unique condition. She regained some confidence, stopped practicing her smile, stopped looking down instead of smiling and stopped letting her happiness depend on others’ opinions.
Krissy wishes the best for her bullies. She hopes one day they strive to help others instead of hurting others. She hopes whoever reads her essay applies her story to their lives and helps them find their own sense of happiness. What a great attitude, Krissy!
Dr. Fishbein launched the EmBraces anti-bullying initiative to take a stand against bullying and educate students on the importance of the acceptance of others. EmBraces strives to reward champions of inclusiveness and positivity throughout the community, just like Leondra, N’Jhari and Krissy.
Throughout this program, we hope to build a network of young ambassadors that spread positivity and educate the importance of embracing others, and in addition to receiving free treatment, the one of the three winners will become a Fishbein EmBraces Anti-Bullying Ambassador.
At the end of summer, one of the six winners from both rounds will be chosen to be the Fishbein Embraces Anti-Bullying Ambassador for the ‘19-‘20 school year and receive a $2,500 scholarship.
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