In Grace’s own words:
Peyton Heart Project Ambassador Essay: By Grace Kuch
The Peyton Heart Project would give me a way to help others and raise awareness of issues that are important to us all. The work done by The Peyton Heart Project means there is still hope to share and the people suffering have a friend to guide them.
If I am selected to be an ambassador for The Peyton Heart Project, I plan to take Peyton hearts to my enrichment school, my former elementary school, around my community, as well as my travels around the country with my music passion. Besides my music, I love to craft. That is also a very exciting part of The Peyton Heart Project for me. I look forward to sharing MY heart when making the hearts to share!
A friend of mine, Sena Uctuk, has been an ambassador of The Peyton Heart Project. We saw what she was sharing about her work with the project, so we started following The Peyton Heart Project on Facebook. I enjoy seeing the messages of hope when people find the hearts in their community, so I want to be able to share that hope too. I was proud to see my friend Sena give presentations about The Peyton Heart Project at her school and the school of her sisters’ to help raise awareness of the issues and the message.
I personally have never been bullied, but I have witnessed bullying at school. I went to a public school until 5th grade and I had friends that would get bullied sometimes. There was a group of girls that would pick on kids. I was fortunate to have learned of many strategies to stay clear of bullying. Having strong self-esteem is a big part of that and if we stick together we can grow self-esteem with others. This will help overcome being a victim of bullying.
Recently, I had a friend that took his life, his name was Butch Trucks and he was the drummer for the Allman Brothers Band. I met him at a music camp in Big Indian, New York and even though I had only just met him, he felt like a grandpa to me. He always was so kind and caring to us kids. I was so sad when I heard he had died by suicide. It hurts my heart to think that someone could get to such a place in their own mind to take their own life. In my community, a few years ago, we had 3 kids my age die by suicide. Although I never knew them, our community was all very sad that this happened. The Peyton Heart Project is a way to take action, to help spread acceptance and understanding instead of judgement.
My extended family has had problems with addiction, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. It impacted the entire family. Often times, everyone would just not talk about the problems, which would make the person probably feel even worse. If we can just talk about these issues and treat them as a real illness, then maybe people would begin to get the help they need instead of taking such desperate measures when they get to the end of their rope. I would like to be a Peyton Heart Project ambassador because I want to make a difference and give hope to the people that need it most. Many of these issues are not discussed openly and the only way to break that is to share awareness and support each other. I want to share my strength, creativity and love with the world.
Thank you for considering me to be an ambassador for the Peyton Heart Project.