In Peyton Newman’s own words:
Peyton Heart Project Ambassador Essay: By Peyton Newman
My name is Peyton Newman and I am 15 years old. I have been involved in community service for as long as I can remember. My family and I frequently participated in service projects to help make our community a better place. When I was younger, I found it increasingly difficult to get involved at such a young age. I wasn’t alone in my desire to participate in service events, but found that I was being told I was too young to do anything frequently. It was then that I created my own charity, called “My Voice.” I wanted to research and find outlets that people my age could actually participate in and make a difference in our communities. Each month, I find some opportunities to make a difference and involve my friends and anyone looking for the same opportunities. Some have become every month activities because I have found them to be so rewarding and beneficial. One is the Ronald McDonald House, of which I am a teen board member. I would like The Peyton Heart Project to be another. I think spreading positive thoughts in such an angry and divisive environment right now is incredibly important.
When I entered high school last year, I found myself to be at the receiving end of bullying. Not verbally, never to my face, but on social media, blasted to everyone I knew. Before I knew it, girls from other high schools were joining in and they did not even know me. I found myself crying in the bathroom daily and calling my mom almost every day in the hopes of changing high schools. Some girls tried to say nice things, but that did not help very much. I felt isolated and alone. Thankfully, my parents and some school officials got involved and it ended. I never ever want anyone to experience such pain and humiliation. I work hard to notice other girls my age who might be experiencing something similar. When I do find someone who is being bullied, I befriend them and share my story. Knowing you are not alone in what you are feeling is so important in making it through each day.
During this difficult time, I saw a post on Instagram from Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Nicole Jia, and she named The Peyton Heart Project and showed some hearts she was making. I was interested at first because the organization and I shared the same name and spelling, and I began my research. Everything I saw about the heart project called to me; the positive words, the random places that you might find the hearts, and the smiles that people had after finding them that they are posting to the Facebook page. I knew I wanted to be involved in such a positive experience for someone else.
I can help spread the message of The Peyton Heart Project. I can spread it through my church, my school, and other organizations I am involved in. I can enlist other people to help spread some kind words and, perhaps, reach that one person who needs to read and hear a positive message.