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January 04, 2016

Guest Column: “You Are Beautiful” Campaign Uplifts Roosevelt Campus

By Nikki Morales and Reyna Amparo

Ten years ago, artist Matthew Hoffman decided to create a positive self-affirming message, “You Are Beautiful,”and spread that message globally by using small two-inch stickers. Theodore Roosevelt High School and Math, Science and Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt (MSTMA) students adopted Hoffman’s concept by hosting a weeklong “You Are Beautiful” celebration from November 16th through the 20th.

We celebrated by gathering a group of students who distributed small positive messages on paper. The students gave everyone on campus a positive message, then went on to tell them that they are beautiful, and to make the sweet compliment even sweeter, they distributed candy with the messages. They also encouraged students to write a positive message on an oversized banner at the center of the school.

It was important for students to participate for various reasons, including learning to give back to their community and being kind to their fellow peers. Learning how to love ourselves is especially essential so that we feel better about ourselves and learn to appreciate the fact that we are unique. Another important reason to participate is so that we can learn how to deflect negativity around us and focus on the positive so we can influence how we perceive ourselves.

I chose to partake in this campaign because I truly feel that this is a form of support – support to be who I am without anyone judging me based on my appearance. I know that in this space I can feel strong and independent, I can feel beautiful because I see and feel my fellow peers’ respect and support, but most importantly, I participate because there is beauty all around that needs to emerge from the darkness.

Nikki Morales is an English teacher at MSTMA and is a Restorative Communities Team. Reyna Amparo is an MSTMA senior and a member of the GEMS girl empowerment club.

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