This is Claire. She is a beautiful 16-year old who has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Every day she struggles with things that most kids take for granted. She is different. Since kids at school didn’t understand her, she would often be bullied. It started in first grade and went on throughout her elementary and middle school classes. The kids would say mean things to her, they’d call her names, they’d laugh at her, gossip about her, give her mean looks, exclude her, and yell at her. She was punched in the face by a boy at school. Most recently, she was bullied about her Air Jordan tennis shoes and ended up being attacked, knocked unconscious, and beaten in the face. Claire no longer wanted to go to school. Even getting out of bed each morning was a struggle.
Claire wrote in her diaries and on the walls of her room that she wanted to die.
Finding Her Potential
One day, Claire walked into Brass Boxing, a local gym, where they were offering Kids MMA classes. At the first class, owner and coach Austen Ford saw her potential and started giving her the positive feedback she so desperately craved. Coach Austen compared Claire to Ronda Rousey and told her if she worked hard enough, she had the skills to take her sport all the way to the Olympics. Claire attended classes where she felt strong, competent, and welcome. Claire was finally a part of a team and had a place where she belonged. The kids at the gym were happy to see Claire. Slowly, Claire’s self-esteem and confidence began to overcome the feelings from the bullies. Claire entered her first Jiu-Jitsu tournament and WON several gold medals.
In middle school, Claire faced new challenges. She struggled with classes, teachers, and staff. Her grades reflect her struggles and she often felt like walking out of school. Claire tried so hard but was frustrated and fed up. With the help of Dr. Ramon Corrales and the Kolbe Y assessment, Claire found help and hope. With the help of the assessment, she found her preferred learning style and was able to raise her grades from nearly failing to A’s and B’s! Claire is now homeschooled to make sure she’s utilizing her learning skills to the best of her abilities.
E3 Scholarship Fund, in addition to helping bullied children, wants to help children succeed in the classroom as well. You can find out more about the Kolbe Y assessments and how to bring them into your school here.
Today Claire continues to train and compete, adding to her medal collection at each tournament. With the help of family, her coach and team, and some friends, Claire created a video with the hope that it would help other kids who are bullied. She never knew it would end up on the desk of UFC Social Media Director Shanda Maloney. Shanda took it to her boss, UFC President Dana White. The UFC graciously hosted Claire for two epic UFC events: UFC 183 in Las Vegas and UFC 184 in Los Angeles. Shanda, Dana, and the UFC gave Claire the ultimate VIP treatment and introduced her to some of her UFC idols, including Ronda Rousey. Ronda sat down with Claire in an interview about bullies and has some great advice for Claire and other bullied children. Claire also started a YouTube talk show where she interviews athletes and celebrities called Bullied But Not Broken!
Claire’s Bullied But Not Broken Channel on YouTube
Without donations, the E3 Scholarship Fund would not be able to continue to reach children who are victims of bullying, suicidal thoughts and low self-esteem. Please help us continue our mission to empower these children. Letting them know they may be bullied, but they are not broken!