Bullied in middle school Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson, now Pepperdine graduates, came together to launch the Kind Campaign in 2009.
Their goals: Make people aware of female bullying and help those who have experienced it heal themselves of its effect.
The women initially intended to deliver the message through a documentary: Finding Kind, a 76-minute film of interviews about female on female bullying.
But word spread quickly, and the campaign became more than just a film; it became a movement – one that branched into schools through Campaign Founders Assemblies.
One of those schools is McCulloch Intermediate School, where Bri Crum, as a “kind ambassador,” facilitates a program for fifth-and sixth-grade girls to lead a discussion, find the root of problems, and begin to mend their relationships.
Crum heard about the program six years ago while her daughter was a kindergartener. She was excited to partner with McCulloch and get involved in the program in 2019.
“I believe I have a gift with kids,” Crum said. “They tend to be open and honest with me.”
Crum herself experienced bullying in grade school but said she does not feel it was as bad as some girls are experiencing. Children will find any reason to bully, she said, attributing that to jealousy.
Almost every girl she has spoken to has dealt with bullies at one time or another, she said.
Kind Ambassadors receive a curriculum for the school year with points to discuss at each meeting. At McCulloch, the hour-long after-school sessions fall on Mondays.
Crum hopes to see her girls contribute to a blog where they can tell their stories and possibly conduct interviews with their peers.
“I like that the girls are taking ownership, feeling proud, and gaining confidence,” she said. “That is the most important thing.”
Crum hopes to expand the program to Highland Park High School eventually.
She understands the importance of catching the girls at a younger age and making a change but said she also feels that high schoolers need help as well.