Thornhill anti-bul­ly­ing ad­vo­cate pays it for­ward

Richmond Hill Post - - News - –– JW

A Thornhill fam­ily has taken the painful ex­pe­ri­ence of a child­hood spent be­ing bul­lied and turned it into a chil­dren’s book and a se­ries of work­shops and read­ings to ed­u­cate kids on the dan­gers of bul­ly­ing and to pro­vide sup­port for those who are suf­fer­ing.

Jac­que­lyn Ken­dal is the spokesper­son for My Friend Clyde, a rhyming pic­ture book for kids ages five to 10, writ­ten by her brother Jason about her ex­pe­ri­ences grow­ing up.

“I went to three el­e­men­tary schools grow­ing up, due to the fact that just be­cause I have a learn­ing dis­abil­ity [kids] thought I was an easy tar­get,” said Ken­dal.

She be­gan lead­ing work­shops and talks in 2015. Last school year, Ken­dal shared her story in front of over 2,000 stu­dents. One of her work­shops was even at­tended by Carol Todd, the mother of Amanda Todd, whose story went vi­ral after her sui­cide as a re­sult of cy­ber­bul­ly­ing.

“I started cry­ing,” said Ken­dal. “I said, ‘Just talk­ing to you has made such a dif­fer­ence in how much I want to do for this world be­cause I know what it was like for your daugh­ter to go through aw­ful stages in her life to the point where she com­mit­ted sui­cide.’ ”

Ken­dal also works part-time at DANI, a Thornhill char­ity that helps sup­port adults with spe­cial needs.

Jac­que­lyn Ken­dal

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