NAME: Lizzie Sider AGE: 15 HOMETOWN: Boca Raton, Florida
WHAT SHE’S DOING: As an emerging country artist, Lizzie lends her voice to an anti-bullying school assembly tour across Florida.
What inspired you to start your anti-bullying school tour? The topic of bullying is something I am very passionate about because of my personal experience with it when I was in elementary school. I thought what a great thing it would be to go into the schools and to speak to the kids directly about this, and use my song “Butterfly” as the theme song. I got so excited about this and brought the idea to my parents, and we started to brainstorm together.
How did your experience being bullied impact you? When I was in elementary school I was teased by the other kids in my grade. They would exclude me, call me names, laugh at me and I would come home crying almost everyday. It was a very hard time to get through. I was a happy kid outside of school – fun, outgoing and bubbly – but it was in school that I felt I couldn’t be myself. One day, as I was leaving the house to go to school, my dad told me, “Nobody has the power to ruin your day.” At first I didn’t understand what he meant by that but after a while, I realized what it truly meant and I found the strength within myself to overcome the hurt and the teasing.
How did music help you through this time? I started to write songs when I was about eight years old, and that was during the time I was getting teased at school. Writing was, and still is, a wonderful way to express myself and pour my heart out.
What has been your favourite performance so far? That’s a really tough one! A definite highlight has been performing “Butterfly” on The Queen Latifah Show in October. I was so honoured to be on her show. The whole experience was phenomenal.
What do you hope other kids will gain from watching the assembly? This assembly focuses on anti-bullying and bully prevention, but the messages of positivity and self-esteem are major parts of it as well. Going into each assembly, my goal is to impact and inspire at least one child in the audience.
What advice would you give to someone being bullied? The truth is that there will always be people in this world who will be bullies and who will try to discourage us; in school, at work, in sports, in life— it will happen. We have to not let that get us down. We cannot control how other people act, but we can control how we react to something.
Fill in the blanks!
In five years I want to be… performing on the biggest stages, with the biggest audiences, and having everyone in the crowd singing my song with me.
I never leave the house without my… hair tie.
I’m happiest when… I’m performing on stage, with an amazing audience.