Moms and dads may not know the name Bethany Mota, but ask a tween girl and you will most likely get a different answer. Mota has 9.5 million YouTube subscribers who hang onto her every word about fashion, crafts and life in general. Some of her most loyal followers showed up at Mall of America on Tuesday night to hear her speak. Mota is working with Twin Cities based PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.

“I really went through bullying in my life,” Mota said. “When I was younger, I went through cyber bullying. I was very vulnerable at that point in my life and it affected me in a big way. It affected my confidence.”

Mota wanted to work on a bullying prevention program with PACER, an organization that advocates for children with disabilities, because she knows many young people follow her and she wants to spread positive messages.

“When one person just talks about their experience, it’s insane how everyone can feel that trigger to want to talk about their situations as well,” Mota said. “You never realize how many people around you can go through similar situations to yours.”

Mota is taking her message on the “Inspiring Change” school speaking tour. She says she hopes her words and the power of her position help make communities and schools kinder and safer.

PACER leaders have dubbed October as National Bullying Prevention Month, and Wednesday, is considered Unity Day with many people wearing the color orange to raise awareness about bullying prevention.

Mota and PACER want young people to know that no one deserves to be bullied online or in person and that if someone does experience it, they are not alone.

For more information on PACER’s bullying prevention campaign, go to PACER.org/Bullying.

 

Twitter: @vsawkar