A Long Beach High School junior has launched a nonprofit to help children take a stand against bullying.
Sydney Brett, 15, is striving to equip kids with anti-bullying strategies through Sydney’s Smiles, which she created last winter. She held a fashion show that raised about $5,000 for the organization and has spoken at several local Girl Scout meetings.
The fashion show consisted of 10 friends modeling clothes supplied by Pouran Boutique in Queens, with Brett speaking in the middle of the event.
Brett, who has dyslexia, said that she wants to remove negative stereotypes of children who have disabilities that aren’t evident to others.
“I know bullying won’t go away overnight, but if I can raise awareness enough to help just one person, that’s enough for me,” she said.
Brett also has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island and The Book Fairies, a Freeport-based nonprofit. She has twice been honored with the gold-level President’s Volunteer Service Award for accumulating more than 100 hours of community service in a 12-month span.
Brett is a member of her school’s National Honor Society, Best Buddies Club and Key Club. She also holds the USA National Miss title of New York Junior Teen among girls ages 13-15 and is a competitive dancer at Miss Colleen’s Elite Dancentre in Rockville Centre.