Living & Loving each day.


Growing up with a white mom and a black dad- the different girl, the one with the different hair and skin, the one who didn’t fit in with the whites, the blacks, or any other race, always trying to find who she was.

The one girl who, even as a teen, never had a boyfriend… Dealing With it all much harder than one person may think.That girl was me-

…but Now I know who I am and who I will be in the future, taking it one step at a time, rocking my way to the end, Rocking My Voice and Rocking Who I am- embracing it, and Loving it.


Me in high school. Always had to be different. This was 10 years ago!!!

Me in high school. Always had to be different. This was 10 years ago!!!

Twitter it! #PR9anthonyryan so we can make great things happen & fully launch the movement!!!

Amie Just

"Everyone says that middle school and high school are supposed to be the best times of your life. In my case, that was a far from true statement. Many things hard for an adult to deal with in a lifetime happened to me, in just under a year time frame, before I was sixteen years old.
December, 2008.
It was almost Christmas time, and in my family, Christmas time is a large holiday. My family always takes large vacations to warm places. Nebraska isn’t exactly a great place to be during the winter. My family and I were scheduled to go to Brazil that winter. That didn’t happen. 
I was home from school the day after getting several teeth pulled. My father woke me up, checking on me if i was okay, only his sentences didn’t exactly line up. “Doing you how?” and “Lunch eat me with?” were some of the sentences he uttered. I told him to drive to the doctor, that some of his medicines might be messing with him, so he did. I didn’t think he’d be as bad off as he actually was.
His doctor called me from my father’s cell phone. I thought that was odd. He told me that my dad was running some tests and that my mother needed to be called right away. They thought my father had a stroke. I called my mom and she left work. Sure enough, the doctor was right, my dad had a stroke and it almost killed him. The road to recovery wasn’t going to be easy, but he could do it. 
About three weeks later, my dad was released from the hospital. He had several complications, including blood clots in the lungs and slow recovery from surgery, but he made it through that part. He still had a long road to go, and almost three years later, he still isn’t quite done travelling that road.
January, 2009.
It was an icy late January day after school. My mom picked me up and we were headed home. It wasn’t exactly the fastest ride home I’d ever had. Roughly three blocks away from school, we were rear-ended by one of my classmates older sisters. Her car was totalled, and I didn’t feel great, but my mom just thought it was teenage headaches. My mom was wrong. The next day I had a severe migraine and I had to go in for a scan on my head. It showed I had suffered some brain trauma. Different medications didn’t help, and I was in and out of different doctor’s offices trying to figure out what was wrong with me. My headaches went away in December of 2010, after visiting a special chiropractor. 

March, 2009.
It was a typical day for me. I was laying at home. I wasn’t exactly up to talking on the phone, but I kept getting text messages, so I checked it. The messages read “RIP Justin Balfany, we will miss you.” I found out one of my best friends was dead through a text message. Not exactly a good way to hear. I was a mess. I had migraines from my car accident and then this. I wasn’t exactly sure how to handle it, but I tried to manage. I learned to believe that he was driving home and he hit a patch of black ice and rolled his jeep in the ditch. He broke his neck in the process and was pronounced dead at the scene. I called one of my other best friends, Nikita. Sure, I had migraines, but right then, I didn’t care. I needed to talk to someone. She was supportive and helped me through it for the next day or so. But then things were worse. I got a call from Nikita’s little brother, saying that she had died because of her cancer. I knew she was going to die soon, but I didn’t expect it to be so sudden and right after Justin. Needless to say, the migraines weren’t my main source of pain anymore.
May, 2009.
It was a normal day, migraine and whatever, but school was out for the summer. My mom called me into her bedroom to chat. Of course, I thought I did something wrong and braced myself for the attack, only, it was different. She told me that her and my father were getting a divorce. It didn’t strike me as upsetting or that big of news, actually, but this was the segway to a lot of change, whether I was going to like it or not.
August, 2009. 
My mom, sister, and I moved out. We moved about two hours away, into a very small apartment. That was something we weren’t exactly used to. I was going to start high school in the next few days. I had no friends, and was scared about it, of course I didn’t tell anyone else that.
September, 2009.
I ended up becoming friends with the wrong crowd. A specific friend I had beat me. He punched me and shoved me up against his car a lot. I didn’t know how to get out of the situation. Before I got out of the friendship, he sexually assaulted me in his car after a football game. He was supposed to be taking me home.A friend of mine, who wasn’t in the wrong crowd had me tell the police. It was hard, but I ended up following through with it. The story boiled down to a he-said-she-said, so there was no conviction. 
I’m still dealing with a lot of this stuff. Life goes on, but the past sometimes is just hard to forget, because it shapes you in ways you never really thought imaginable. I’m not even close to being done with my life yet. I’m not quite seventeen yet, but you have to roll with the punches, even if sometimes, life throws you a knockout. “

"In the end, your not first & your not last. It’s how you take that middle ground and run with it." - Anthony Ryan

Tracey, age 22

Growing up, I had the best childhood ever. I am so close to my parents and sister and I was always with my grandparents (on my mom’s side). I loved going to school and I did well at it. However, I always felt like something was slightly not right but I wasn’t sure what it was. I just knew some of the thoughts and feelings I had could not be normal. As much as I liked school, right away I felt like I was judged by some of the other kids. My parents were very involved and showed up to everything and I did really well. I found myself getting teased and picked on for doing so well. I noticed alot of kids did not want to be my friend and would make comments to me about what a nerd or a loser I was.

With every year in school it got worse. I had a group of friends that I was close to but I always still felt uncomfortable. They would make comments to me too, even though they were my friends. My grandmother passed away when I was in 7th grade and I felt my world collapse. I started not being able to sleep and wanted to only sleep in my mom’s room and going to school started to be a real challenge. In 8th grade a huge rumor got started about me around the school. I started to hate school. My feelings only got worse and pretty soon getting out of bed to go to school was a huge challenge for me. I would feel sick when I was there and cry every night that I didn’t want to go back.

Tenth grade was the year this got really bad and after finally opening up to my family about how I had been feeling, I was diagnosed with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. I felt better knowing what it was, but that was only half the battle. I started therapy because I was a nervous wreck about taking medication and while it helped, there is no cure. I felt isolated from my friends at school because they never listened to me or seemed to really care about anything other then if I could help them with their homework. I felt alone and depressed. I spent every single night crying or freaking out of whatever was bothering me due to my OCD and crying because I dreaded school. Little things such as staying home alone, going to bed or watching tv were not so simple for me because the OCD affects every single part of my life.

After a major meltdown I finally relented and agreed to go on medication. Immediatly I felt a huge difference. I kept up with the therapy and eventually I started seeing progress. I just knew I had to get through school somehow. I stopped letting myself be treated badly and stood up for myself. I started to see my anxiety and OCD lessen slightly where it became more manageable. I graduated and it was the best day of my life. I started college that fall and I felt so much better and happier starting over.

I have learned how to handle my OCD and to this day, while it still affects me every single day of my life, I know how to deal with it now and how to not let it consume me. I majored in elementary education and graduated with my bachelors and am currently working on a masters degree and subbing. I want to give back and be the teacher in the classrooms that I never had that can notice when something isn’t right with a student and try and help them. I make sure no student’s get teased or ever feel as alone or bad as I did because no one should have to go through that. I try to make a difference for students because all it takes is one person to help someone who has gone through and goes through what I have.

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