In Sena’s own words:
Renewal Essay By Sena Uctuk
My name is Sena and I have been one of the ambassadors for Fort Collins, Colorado. I would like to be considered to be an ambassador for another year. This year, I have participated in a bunch of events and a personal project for the project. The events I contributed in were, the Orange Hearts for October, when I spread the hearts around downtown with my family, and the Yellow Hearts event, when we sent about one-hundred or so hearts to Jill, plus the Rainbow Hearts, which we also sent about one-hundred or so to Jill for the LGBT parade in New York.
The projects I did this year started with talking to one of the school’s administration in the district about having hearts in the school this year. Even though they said they couldn’t have the hearts, because they already had a lot going on, I learned different ways to improve on when I present to adults. Also, I did a radio interview with Sean and the Teens of America Radio Network. Before the holidays, I made a Kindness Tree, which was a tree we decorated in the cafeteria of my school, with hearts, yarn, and little signs with quotes.
In February, I went to my old elementary school, Rivendell, and gave a presentation about kindness and how to prevent bullying. All the students had made hearts for the project’s use and each was absolutely beautiful. In March, we received a new ambassador, also from Fort Collins, who has been a wonderful friend of mine since we were little, Grace. And also in March, I did a presentation to some students at a school in my district, Wellington Middle School. I taught them about the project and taught them how to make felt hearts. After, the project sent enough hearts to add onto the hearts that the students made, giving enough for all the students in the school. Later on, I taught Grace how to make the style of heart I like to make, and we have been working together.
Throughout the year, I have been making packages, so others can make felt hearts. The package included all the necessary materials for the person who wanted the package, to use. And step-by-step instructions that my sister, Asiye created. This has been a good way to reach out to friends and help the people in my community to contribute. I would like to produce and give out more of these packages.
I am currently the host of an account that is based off of the project and I have been using it throughout the year to post about different things that I was doing with encouraging quotes for people. The account is @blooming_kindness on Instagram.
For the upcoming year, I plan to focus on making hearts and spreading them all over the city and places I go. And try to contribute more to the different events. I will try to accomplish this by making a weekly amount of hearts, such as twenty-five, to keep up and have hearts in case I need to ship them or use them for spreading here. This will keep me in a good place for the year. I want to do something at my new school, such as a sudden burst of hearts all over the school, to surprise students and be a major notice to the students. I did something like this in the past, where I yarn bombed the trees in the front of the school and covered them in hearts.
For something new, I would like to start planning a way to get to the college here in Fort Collins, Colorado State University. Depending on how busy I am this year, this might be a two year process to get a big enough impact on the students at CSU. I would like to place baskets of hearts all over the campus, and the campus is HUGE. Over 33,000 students are currently at CSU, and I want to get hearts out to as many as possible or all if I can. Again, this might take some time and planning, but I want to be as prepared as possible for the upcoming challenges while planning.I want to continue with my current Kindness account on Instagram, and possible branch into other Social Medias, such as Facebook, or Twitter, and possibly YouTube. I know for a fact that a lot of mean stuff can appear on social media, and so I can try to get a good amount of the Social Medias, so by branching out, I am reaching out to others besides those on Instagram. I will also try to go to different events in my town and distribute hearts throughout. Hopefully, the first will be New West Fest in my city’s downtown. Also, I will be working with Grace throughout the year to spread the message around town and the places she goes to perform. I don’t want to put pressure on myself, but I will do my best to spread the project’s message this year and do my best to help everyone in my community and try to help everyone out of my community too.
Peyton Heart Project Ambassador Essay: By Sena Uctuk
“My name is Sena Uctuk. I am 13. I am going to be in 8th grade this upcoming school year. I live in Fort Collins, Colorado, in the United States of America and I would like to be considered for the Ambassador of Fort Collins, CO for the Peyton Heart Project because of three reasons. I want to spread awareness for bullying, spread awareness for suicide prevention, and teach students that there is always someone to go to if you have troubles.
I have done my best to try and prevent bullying after I heard about the Peyton Heart Project from my mother who found out about it on Facebook. This last school year I created a project for my school that would inform people about the Peyton Heart Project. Yarn bombing is when a person or multiple people create yarn objects that would then be wrapped around an object such as a statue or a bicycle, or in my case, trees. In September of 2015 I began planning and creating my project. I decided to yarn bomb all the trees in the front of my school and hang hearts from them. For 6 months my mom and I made hearts for the trees and created the yarn bombs for each of the trees. Once I got permission from the administration of my school I presented my project to the school board and got positive feedback. I created an announcement that would go on the intercom for the mornings I had the yarn bombs up to explain the reasons behind the project. Also, with the help of the Art ELO (Extended Learning Opportunity), we created signs that also explained the project and provided different contacts to reach if they had bullying problems and needed help. I got help making more hearts from another student who knew how to crochet. We put up the project on Sunday, April 24th, 2016 and took down the project the following Sunday. That Monday after the setup, my family and I went to see how it was going as they dropped me off for school. There were students looking at the trees and taking the hearts that we had made. The hearts that I put up were gone by the time school started so we made and placed a few more hearts on the trees on Wednesday. Those ended up being taken as well in a matter of minutes. We ended up making even more hearts for the project on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon. This way we could place even more hearts up on Friday. In total, we ended up making approximately 400 hearts for the display plus sixteen yarn bombs.
As I have gone through middle school, I have realized how bad bullying can impact a person’s life. This last school year two kids in my district took their lives because of bullying. That made me realize how much more important this project is. I put all my effort into this project. Bringing awareness to the kids in my school and providing solutions to these problems. If I become the Ambassador for the Peyton Heart Project, for Fort Collins, I could spread this message to other schools by contacting friends and developing a committee of people, sending them hearts for them to place around their schools for other students to find. If possible, maybe going to their schools and doing a school presentation or giving my friends the material to teach the students at their schools about the Peyton Heart Project. Hopefully impacting other student’s lives with this awareness so they can use the lessons they learn to help save other people’s lives.
Another reason I wanted to do this project was because I have been bullied before. The first time I was bullied I was in kindergarten and walking on the playground with my two friends. While we were walking, a boy in my same grade stared at us looking angry. He punched me and hit me. I tried to defend myself but I still got hurt. My two friends brought me to the nearest teacher and the boy was sent to the principal’s office. That day I learned that having friends is very important in situations like this. Bullying isn’t just physical, but it can also be verbal, emotional, and mental. All of these are not good and can lead to different consequences.
These are the reasons why I would like to become the Ambassador for Fort Collins, CO for the Peyton Heart Project.”