The Ellen Show recognizes Lakeland kid for anti-bullying campaign

Jaylen's Challenge surprised with $10,000

LAKELAND, Fla. - At the age of 13, Jaylen Arnold is truly being the change he wants to see in the world.

"Nothing makes me feel better than knowing I have helped someone or inspired someone and that I am making the change," says Arnold.

The Lakeland seventh grader has a heart of gold and a mission to stop bullying through his foundation, Jaylen's Challenge.

"The kids that I've talked to write and email back to me that I've helped them or that they don't get bullied anymore," says Arnold.

Jaylen knows what bullying feels like first hand.  He has Tourette's Syndrome and was teased about it in school.  He chose to turn the teasing into triumph though.  He says its not just for himself, but for every kid who has been bullied.

What started as a classroom effort with his friends turned into a grassroots movement in the community.  That effort noticed last year by the Tampa Bay Lightning as they awarded Jaylen's Challenge with $50,000 towards the cause.

Jaylen has since been on a nationwide tour, including nine west coast cities spreading his message.  And while he's been busy, the national attention has continued to grow.  So much so that Ellen Degeneres took notice of his efforts and recently awarded Jaylen a surprise $10,000 check while he was speaking to a middle school in Los Angeles.

"Ellen and everyone has been watching me and following me and that Ellen wanted to give me a donation," says Jaylen with a big smile on his face.  "It was excitement and happy and confusion and all that stuff put together and I had no idea how to react."

While he likes to be modest, he's being hailed as a difference maker.  A young teenage kid who likes superheroes; being one himself, in a class of his own.

Jaylen's near future goal is to go on a east coast tour to educate kids in schools about the dangers of bullying and how to be more tolerant of their classmates, but the trip will cost the foundation $20,000.  If you would like to help Jaylen's Challenge, visit their website at www.JaylensChallenge.org .  

You can also find Jaylen's Challenge on social media:

Twitter: @JaysChallenge
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaylenschallengefoundation
Instagram: JaylensChallenge  
 

Print this article Back to Top

Comments