CENTRAL FLORIDA – In the spirit of National Bullying Prevention Month, a local non-profit is offering to take its message of bullying prevention, body image and mental health to five Central Florida schools free of charge. The Blatantly Honest Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) started by a local author and speaker, Makaila Nichols.
News 6 spoke to Nichols after she launched her “Blatantly Honest” podcast and a series of anti-bullying and body-positive coloring books.
Nichols was inspired to tell her story after enduring bullying as a child and teen.
“The base of bullying is judgment. And I think that’s kind of how I kick off every speech. Because I think sometimes someone sees me, and they don’t necessarily assume I was bullied.,” Nichols said. “and I just want to change that stigma and break that stereotype from the get-go because that’s how we get to our honest conversations.”
Nichols tours the nation, visiting schools and hosting events both virtually and in person. She says during her hour-long talks with students, she likes to think of herself as a big-sister type figure.
“You know, I’m not like mom or dad talking at you. I’m just trying to talk with you and just kind of let you know, these growing stages, they’re going to pass, but it’s how you treat one another and how you respond to your peers that’s really going to push you to the next level,” she said.
Nichols is accepting nominations from all Central Florida elementary, middle, and high schools.
She will donate a one-hour speech to five schools, either virtually or in person. Students, parents, and school staff are all eligible to nominate a school through the Blatantly Honest Foundation’s website. You can also access the application with this QR code.
The deadline to apply is Saturday, Oct. 9, and the Blatantly Honest Foundation will coordinate with district offices to ensure all COVID-19 safety policies are followed.