Photography by Jessica Venturi Image by: Photography by Jessica Venturi
Where she's from: Surrey, B.C.
Award: Social Action Award
Contribution: Team Orange is a prosocial, antibullying program Paige Glazier helped kick-start after her own struggles with being cyberbullied, physically threatened and ostracized. Her tormentors even spray painted vulgar graffiti about her on her school's exterior. Paige speaks throughout the school district in Surrey, B.C., describing her experiences and teaching practical ways to survive bullying and build resilience. As a result of her efforts, the Team Orange program has been adopted by the Surrey School District.
When was the first time you saw an issue and thought, I need to do something about this?
When I was about seven, my family and I were in the Caribbean, and I witnessed a little boy being denied entry to a store. I felt bothered because I'd never seen someone mistreated before. I knew there was something wrong. As I got older, I kept seeing the same patterns: People are being excluded and betrayed. Then, it happened to me.
Was there a moment when you realized, Yes, this is what I should be doing?
Whenever I see the kids' reactions while I'm teaching them about the values of
inclusion, loyalty and respect, I realize how much these words are needed in their lives. During the question-and-answer period, some kids are bold enough to share their personal experiences with bullying. Hearing that fuels me to continue the work I do with Team Orange.
What has been your greatest challenge so far?
Because I'm trying to reach as many schools as possible, it's difficult to arrange follow-up visits to ensure that the values the kids have learned during my presentation are reinforced.
What trait or skill has helped you with your volunteer work?
I'm able to develop meaningful relationships with the kids because I share an experience they can all relate to. Part of the reason Team Orange has been so successful is the fact that I am young and I often allow myself to be vulnerable so the kids trust me and find me relatable.
What is the most frequent question you're asked about volunteering?
I'm often asked why I picked inclusion, loyalty and respect to represent Team Orange. At such a young age, children are experimenting with acts of exclusion, betrayal and mistreatment. Our goal is to encourage positive behaviour, so we picked the three opposite behaviours that can encourage people to be more socially responsible.
Can you imagine what your life would be like without volunteering?
It's important for me to give my time, and giving back to my community is something I consider a priority and a passion. I wouldn't feel complete without it.
Meet our 2015 Me to We Award winners for more inspirational stories like Paige's.
This story was originally part of "Everyday Heroes" in the October 2015 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!