Mitchell in the Macklemore Marmalade video!
See Drew interview Mitchell for Z Club News!
Come Together with Kindness recognizes one outstanding child each month who exemplifies our Core Values: Courage, Kindness and Compassion. Each child will receive an exclusive, custom Courage to be Kind Medallion designed by Madeline Ellis of
Mimosa Handcrafted. Come Together with Kindness accepts both written and video nominations. Click the mouse at the bottom of the page to learn more!
We could not be more excited to introduce the very first recipient of the
Courage to Be Kind Medallion
by Mimosa Handcrafted!
Meet Mitchell Savitsky!
We asked Mitchell to tell us a little about himself!
“I’m an 11-year-old boy from southern New Jersey, a suburb 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia. I am a middle school student in 6th grade. I'm a professional working actor, dancer, and model. When not training and/or working my favorite hobbies are playing with Legos and playing football with my friends.”
Mitchell has dealt with bullying. We asked him to tell us a little about what happened.
“I began getting bullied in school and in the after-school program on school grounds when I was in 4th grade, however I never told anyone, not even my parents. It began by a boy calling me a "girl" because I dance ballet. This is not only bullying, but harassment because this bully was questioning my gender. He continued to say, "only girls dance", insinuating that since I was a dancer, I must be a "girl". He would pick on me because of the clothes I would wear and how I chose to style my hair. It started with hurtful words, words that hurt my feelings. Then, he began to shove me here and there and slap me in the back of the head. Summer came, and I was so happy because I knew I wouldn't have to see him outside of school. But soon enough school was back in session. In the beginning of my 5th grade school year, the bullying increased. It went from hurtful words to increased physical bullying. He shoved me more often and slapped me more often. The day that my parents finally found out what was going on was the last Friday in October of 2016. During the aftercare program at my elementary school, we were playing limbo and he took the opportunity to slap me across the face so hard I was thrown to the ground. I remember the aide coming over to me asking if I was ok and taking me to get ice down the hall. When my dad came to pick me up no one told him what happened, no one cared to tell him that I was found on the ground at the hands of another student and my face needed ice. By the time my dad arrived, the redness on my cheek had cleared up and we walked out in rush to get home to start the weekend. On the drive home I told my dad what happened. My dad turned the car around and went back to school to have a few words with the aides that are supposed to create a safe environment for the children. They began to cover up the story and say that nothing happened, but finally one aide said, "I don't know but I don't think his dad is around". That is a difficult situation for a child to go through, however my dad told them that is not a reason to slap other children. Due to the uproar my dad created that day, the after-school program kicked me out, not the kid who hit me. They kicked the victim out. My parents were not done trying to get a resolution and proper consequences against the other child. The school completed an investigation, even speaking with a few other students that witnessed the entire thing and all the other times he bullied me. Unfortunately, they found bullying did not take place. They called it a conflict. It was not a conflict, he bullied and harassed me. My parents chose to fight their findings by going to closed session Board of Education meeting to discuss the findings. My mom did her research and provided beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was bullied and harassed, but the board upheld the school's ruling. The next step my parents took was an appointment with an attorney, unfortunately the attorney advised us since it happened on school grounds and the aftercare program is considered a small business, they would probably go after the school district for monetary damages. My parents thought that raising everyone else's taxes to pay out a lawsuit would not be solving anything. If anything, it would cause undue hardship to those that had nothing to do with this matter causing them to pay the consequences. My parents chose to drop the lawsuit.”
This is a very sad situation. We asked Mitchell how this impacted him.
“I have learned a lot. Unfortunately, not all positive. It taught me that not everyone is like me and nice. People lie, and it taught me to trust others less. On the positive side, it showed me just how much my parents love and support me, and even care about others. My parents will go to the ends of the earth for me, but they also think of the repercussion of their actions and how it can negatively affect others. It also showed me how important it is to believe in yourself and embrace self-empowerment. I have adopted using a hashtag to spread my message of anti-bullying and self-empowerment #beuniquelyyou. It makes me feel good and the message is important...be you, love yourself, empower yourself, and remember that bullying is never acceptable. Bullies no longer have any power over me because I chose not to give them any power.”
We asked Mitchell to share his advice to other kids, both those who have been mistreated and those who have mistreated others.
“Be true to who you are. You cannot be replaced or duplicated. Other kids may say hurtful things or put their hands on others, you must can stop the cycle. Be the power of one, the one person that makes change happen, that stops the bullying. If necessary, you protect and defend yourself. Get an adult involved. You cannot be quiet, you must tell an adult, tell your parents, tell your teacher. Don't be afraid, it's not your fault and you won't get in trouble. The bully is the one who is wrong. I learned the hard way that keeping silent doesn't help. The bullying will never stop until you take control and tell someone.”
Mitchell has demonstrated time and time again that he is very kind and thoughtful despite what he has been through. We asked Mitchell why he feel kindness is so important.
“Kindness is so important because it makes the world better. The easiest thing anyone can do is be kind. When you are kind to someone, that typically spreads to the next person and so on. When you smile at someone, they typically smile back, correct? That is what I have found with kindness. The more kind we all are, the better and nicer our world will be. I want to make a positive mark on the world, so if me being kind brings a smile to one person's face, then I feel I have made the world just a little bit better.”
Mitchell is a shining example and an inspiration to adults and kids alike. Mitchell is following his dreams and being true to himself no matter what anyone says or does! Go Mitchell! We asked Mitchell who inspires him.
“People that never give up. It sometimes takes many attempts to accomplish something, but those that never give up are very inspiring to me. I have seen so many good people become successful just because they never gave up. People that care about and do for others. It is so nice to see and hear about people volunteering their time to help others. It inspires me to be better and to do all I can for others.”