Philadelphia’s Mya Robinson is quite a big talent. Among her many accomplishments, she’s an active youth ministry member at Christian Hope Baptist, the recipient of the National Liberty Museum’s 2012 Young Hero Award, a fashion model for Barbizon Modeling and a national ambassador for the Caution, No Bully Zone campaign. In addition, Mya models for charity causes like autism. What’s truly remarkable is that Mya is a third-grade honor student who attends Mathematics and Science Charter School.
Latrina Monique Robinson, Mya’s mother, said the National Liberty Museum’s Young Hero Award “basically recognizes all the good that (Mya) has done with the Dream, Believe, Know It Foundation” and other community service endeavors. Latrina is also a member of Christian Hope Baptist Church, where Rev. Patrick Cheston is the senior pastor. During the next youth Sunday event in September, the youth ministry will hold a special celebration of Mya’s Young Hero Award honor.
The national Caution, No Bully Zone initiative is one of the signature programs of the DBK Foundation which provides educationally based programs, workshops and seminars to youth throughout America, equipping youth of all ages with valuable tools they can use to turn complex and negative situations into positive experiences.
Mya is an ambassador of this particular initiative; she travels nationally speaking to youth and parents at schools and to community groups about the perils of bullying and how to thwart it.
“I am the founder and creator of the Dream, Believe, Know it Foundation. Our focus is to empower, educate” and to make youth in the community great success stories, said Daryl L. Washington. “The Foundation in going on roughly four years old.” Daryl credits his mother’s advocacy for education and observing how she nurtured and developed young people as main incentives that motivated him to create his foundation.
Daryl said, “I met Mya through a company that I work for and that I’m affiliated with, called Barbizon (Modeling and Acting Center). I was just expressing to the audience, in the class, what else I do besides being part of fashion-entertainment. I wanted the kids to know that (fashion-entertainment) is one side of who ‘Daryl Washington’ is, but there’s also another passion inside (me) that goes outside into the community. ...” Daryl has been active with cancer awareness and other advocacy and fundraising endeavors, but his huge passion is spreading an anti-bullying campaign nationwide via young people he mentors and grooms as ambassadors of his DBK Foundation.
Latrina said “(Mya) has traveled to Buffalo, New York, the last couple of years” for various anti-bullying events, and that she has modeled in national Rock the Runway Fashion Shows, which is also a part of anti-bullying” community initiatives sponsored by major corporations via the DBK Foundation. Latrina also said her daughter isn’t just another pretty face, “she’s a straight ‘A’ student” at Mathematics and Science Charter School in Philadelphia.
For over-bearing parents of very active and talented children, Latrina offers this wise advice: “Just stay strong, stay focused. Don’t push the kids too hard. One thing about me, I don’t push her to do what she doesn’t want to do. This is something that she loves to do, and I keep her focused and striving to reach her goals.”
Hazel Robinson, Mya’s grandmother lauds her granddaughter, saying, “Yes, I’m a very proud grandmother of Mya! She’s a very independent person; she likes to do things on her own. She’s smart, she loves to read, she’s on her second series of books — she’s a very good person. We just try to let Mya do her own thing,” within boundaries.
There are many pushy pageant moms and fanatical football dads that force and exploit their successful children to participate in certain activities. Unlike the popular reality child star “Honey Boo Boo” (who many critics feel is being exploited), Hazel and Latrina do not force Mya to continue in any organization, charitable cause or other civic endeavors that she doesn’t want to continue doing.
“When you start pushing a child, they start pulling back; they start doing things they should not be doing. So, if you just let them take their time and do what they want to do (with boundaries), they will do very well,” Hazel said. According to Hazel, Mya was ranked/voted valedictorian of Hope Christian School twice.
Mya, at 8 years old, is a beautiful, poised, petite and very mild mannered kid. She got involved with the “Caution, No Bully Zone” initiative because she was victimized by a motley crew of bullies that terrorized her during school bus rides. Just recalling the torment of her antagonists brought tears to Mya’s eyes. She had to pause the interview for this article several times just to compose herself.
According to Mya, “modeling and school” are her greatest accomplishments, saying “it’s fun to be traveling to New York, and other stuff.” Traveling and promoting an anti-bullying message “… is great. It all started when I was bullied about a year ago with students on the bus.” She told her mother and grandmother about the incident and a meeting was held at the school, and (the bullies) got in trouble (with the principal).” Mya’s advice to victims of bullies is to report the incident to parents, teachers and principals: Don’t be silent. Mya said her parents were her source of comfort and safety.
According to the website StompOutBullying.com, it reports some chilling statistics about widespread bullying that occurs daily in America’s K–12 schools:
•As many as 160,000 students stay home on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied.
•One out of five kids admits to being a bully, or doing some bullying.
•282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
•More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the way to school.
•80 percent of the time, an argument with a bully will end up in a physical fight.
•Playground statistics: Every seven minutes a child is bullied.
•Depending on the age group, up to 43 percent of students have been bullied while online. One in four has had it happen more than once.
•35 percent of kids have been threatened online. Nearly one in five has had it happen more than once.
•Bullying behavior can set the tone for a lifetime of intentional cruelty or worse. And the consequences to the victim can seriously affect them for the rest of their lives.
As an ambassador with “Caution, No Bully Zone,” Mya met Sarah from Texas. “I text her every day. (Sarah) is in 12th grade.” Mya enjoys how Sarah mentors her from afar. As soon as Mya comes home from school, the first thing she does is “Homework … I do science, social studies, reading, writing and math.” And like all kids her age, she loves watching TV.
On Sunday, September 16, Mya participated in a charity fashion fundraiser at the Media Theatre, in Media, Pa., to raise awareness and money to fight against autism.
To learn more about the Caution, No Bully Zone campaign, contact the DBK Foundation at: 1. 800.837.0754, or www.thedbkfoundation.org.