LEXINGTON, Ky. (8/17/13)—At first glance 20-year-old Katie Himes is a normal college student, but she is way more than that. The Kappa Delta at Northern Kentucky University currently holds three pageant titles and is the mind behind the anti-bullying program Bully Bashers. Underneath the crown on her head lies an even bigger heart.
Himes started doing pageants when she was eight years old and started winning when she was about 14 years old.
“I got better as I got older and when I was little I never won,” said Himes laughing. “Still to this day I lose more pageants than I win, but that is good for me because it helps me be a gracious winner.”
Himes holds the Miss Tollesboro and Miss Ohio Collegiate titles and just won her most recent title, Miss Kentucky Coed. It was when she held the reign as Miss Kentucky Collegiate that the idea of her platform and program Bully Bashers came to surface.
“The national platform for Miss Kentucky Collegiate was anti-bullying,” she said. “I loved going and talking to kids about my experience of being bullied and that is when Bully Bashers was born.”
Himes suffered from bullying at a young age and even through her years being in pageants.
“I can relate to the kids and let them know that if I wasn’t bullied and if I didn’t overcome it the way that I did then I wouldn’t be where I am at today, “ she said.
Himes and her partner Mike Jones travel to schools all over the state and spread their message to students in some unusual ways.
“We record original music and perform for them,” said Himes. “I sing opera, he raps, and we incorporate the two when talking to the kids and they love it.”
Himes tells the students that everyone has their own story and encourages them not to judge someone until they truly get to know them.
“It’s easy to look at someone and judge them by their appearance, what they wear or how they act,” she said. “But we are trying to remind kids that everyone has their own story and we may not know the whole thing.”
This will be the third year that Himes and Jones have visited schools to promote Bully Bashers and stand up against bullying. They have stood in front of over 10,000 students kindergarten through 12th grade and have even talked to future educators about how to be aware of bullying that may occur in their classrooms.
“Even if didn’t have a crown on my head I would still do all of these things,” said Himes. “But the fact that I do have a title has allowed me to speak out against bullying and I am so thankful for that.”
Himes is dedicated in spreading her program across Kentucky as well as Indiana.
“The reputation that we have established will continue,” she said. “They can see that we do love what we are doing and are passionate about helping others that have been bullied too.”
Himes’ ultimate goal is to create a program that she can promote on a national level and plans on continuing Bully Bashers even after her pageant days.
“I could do this for the rest of my life,” she said. “It has gotten me involved and I have met great people and touched so many young hearts.”
Himes has set up a pageant that young women can take part in to give them an avenue to get involved. The pageant is scheduled for September 20-21.
To find out more information or book the Bully Bashers team to come talk to your classroom or school, visit their website www.bullybasher.com.
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