Claire's Story

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Claire is a beautiful teen who has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Every day Claire struggles with things that most kids take for granted. She is different. Since kids at school didn’t understand her, she was bullied. It started in first grade and continued throughout her elementary and middle schools. The kids would say mean things, call her names, laugh at her, gossip about her, give her mean looks, exclude her, and yell at her. 

physical Violence

In fifth grade, Claire was punched in the face by a boy. In eighth grade Claire was bullied about her tennis shoes. Kids gathered around her enticing a fight. In addition, Claire was brand new at the school and kept repeating that she didn’t want to fight anyone because she didn’t even know them. However, Claire ended up being attacked, knocked unconscious, and beaten by the leader of the group. As a result, Claire no longer wanted to go to school. Even getting out of bed was a struggle. Claire wrote in her diaries and on the walls of her closet that she wanted to die.

claire-tietgen-suicide-survivor

Claire is a beautiful teen who has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Every day Claire struggles with things that most kids take for granted. She is different. Since kids at school didn’t understand her, she was bullied. It started in first grade and continued throughout her elementary and middle schools. The kids would say mean things, call her names, laugh at her, gossip about her, give her mean looks, exclude her, and yell at her. 

PHYSICAL VIOLENCE​

In fifth grade, Claire was punched in the face by a boy. In eighth grade Claire was bullied about her tennis shoes. Kids gathered around her enticing a fight. In addition, Claire was brand new at the school and kept repeating that she didn’t want to fight anyone because she didn’t even know them. However, Claire ended up being attacked, knocked unconscious, and beaten by the leader of the group. As a result, Claire no longer wanted to go to school. Even getting out of bed was a struggle. Claire wrote in her diaries and on the walls of her closet that she wanted to die.

"If I die before my life gets happy,
I hope that my family will miss me."

-Claire's Diary

A Cry for Help

We were heartbroken and terrified finding out Claire was experiencing extreme bullying at school and feeling so defeated that she wanted to die. The school denied knowledge of bullying, even insinuated that Claire was lying. Charles, her father, went to lunch with her one day. Afterwards, they were playing kickball when three girls sitting on a bench shouted, “We hate you Claire!”. Claire looked at her dad and said, “See, this is what I’m talking about.” It was a completely unprovoked verbal attack with her father standing right next to her. We knew we needed to act fast, but were unsure which way to turn.

Claire and her dad enjoyed watching movies together. When they watched Real Steel, a story about boxing and robots, it became one of Claire’s favorites. When a friend suggested she try mixed martial arts, they called and made an appointment for the next class. It was a huge success!

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Claire attended mixed martial arts classes with coach Austen Ford at Brass Boxing, where she felt strong, competent, and welcome. Plus, Claire was finally a part of a team and had a place where she belonged. Above all, the kids at the gym were happy to see Claire. Claire’s self-esteem and confidence began to overcome the feelings from the bullies. Then, Claire began entering jiu-jitsu tournaments and winning medals. Most importantly, Claire began to care more about what she thought of herself over what the other kids said.

With the help of her family, coach, and friends, Claire created a video in the hopes that it would help other bullied children. She never knew the video would find its way to UFC Social Media Director Shanda Maloney, who took it straight to UFC President Dana White. Dana was so touched that the UFC hosted Claire for UFC 183 in Las Vegas and UFC 184 in Los Angeles. In addition, Claire received VIP treatment and met some of her UFC Idols, including Ronda Rousey (scroll down for more).

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In middle school, Claire faced other challenges. She struggled with classes, teachers, and staff. Her grades reflected her struggles and she often felt like walking out of school. Claire couldn’t understand why she tried so hard but was consistently frustrated. Her grades reflected her frustration and further compounded her feeling of failure and desire to give up. The school wanted to help. Many hours and meetings were spent with teachers and staff. Lots of great advice and learning tools and tricks were applied but the result was the same. Claire continued to under perform, be frustrated, and depressed. 

Claire was ready to walk out and never return. With the help of Dr. Ramon Corrales and the Kolbe Y™ Index, Claire found help and hope. The assessment results helped her identify her unique problem-solving strengths and she was able to raise her grades from nearly failing to A’s and B’s! This new self-knowledge has allowed Claire to be more resilient in all situations.

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 Index and how to bring them into your school here.

Giving Back

Claire received help from so many people. We credit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with literally saving her life. Finding out her natural strengths with the Kolbe made it better. Talking to others who shared similar stories made Claire feel normal, like she wasn’t the only one being bullied. Claire started interviewing professional athletes and celebrities to get their advice on how to handle bullies.

Claire wants to help other children and teens who struggle, which is why we started E3 Scholarship Fund. We hope you find help and hope too.

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Made with ❤ Denise Tietgen

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