Justin Preston
Bullying Survivor
Male | Toronto, ON   Canada
Who am I, I'm just like you.
Bullying Type: Physical / Emotional
Posted By: JustinPrestonxo
6/24/13 12:15 PM
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Fort Erie resident Justin Preston has received a lot of attention for his anti-bullying campaign. He is focusing on a youth benefit concert and is working towards a single for Rise Against Bullying.

Justin Preston has been receiving a lot of attention for his campaign to end bullying, but he said for him it's just about being there for people who need someone to listen.

"I'm really trying to make a difference in my community and give positive messages to people. I've been speaking with a lot of kids lately who are having suicidal thoughts. I just keep thinking back to when I was younger, I didn't have anyone to talk to about it. I'm here to support them," said Preston, who's campaign is called Rise Against Bullying.

The Rise Against Bullying campaign has been receiving attention from people all over North America, and because of its success, Preston will be doing a song with Fort Erie musician Carina Frammartino. Preston's cousin who is a producer in Ridgeway is donating his expertise for the song. Preston will be writing the lyrics, while Frammartino will be singing. All the proceeds from the song will go to help support Rise Against Bullying.

There will also be a music video, which will go with the song.

"We're going to have footage of people holding signs and things like that. We're requesting people to keep an eye open so they're able to share their own message," he said.

The song is expected to be on iTunes in the next couple of months for purchase.

"It's a really great opportunity for people to get involved and share their own message."

Preston is also organizing a fundraising concert to benefit youth at The Sanctuary in Ridgeway. The event will feature Frammartino and local artists.

"I wanted to give the youth of the area the chance to show off their talents, whether it's poetry, rap, or music," he said.

He doesn't have an exact date set yet, but hopes to hold it at the end of May or early June.

Saidat, who just has become friends with through their shared passion to stop bullying, will also be attending the concert.

Siadat has visited over 1,000 schools to spread the message of anti-bullying. She just recently donated $500 to Preston to help him purchase Rise Against Bullying T-shirts.

"Saidat is a huge inspiration of mine. She taught me to believe in my dreams because I can achieve them," he said.

The T-shirts should arrive on April 20 and will then be available to purchase.

The president of the Stevensville Kinettes also offered a free booth to Preston for their Springfest on June 1, which he will be at to sell bracelets and his shirts.

He will be attending college in Hamilton to become a social service worker and said he will take Rise Against Bullying with him.

"I'm planning on talking to the college and seeing if I can get together a group of people. People experience bullying at all ages," he said.

Preston has also had success on YouTube and is blown away by the amount of views his videos have received.

"I always said I would never be that person who posts videos on Youtube because I always felt that was a place where people can put you do and post negative comments, but for some reason I posted a video and now have 45 on there."

"I always felt I was just a Fort Erie kid and no one really recognizes Fort Erie. One of my YouTube videos has over 19,000 views. I've put myself online to help others and to let them know that they're not alone."

Preston's story goes back to high school when he himself was bullied and struggled with thoughts of ending his own life, depression, anxiety and the feeling of being alone.

He keeps all conversations confidential, unless to do so would harm the person he is talking to.

"I've had some really scary instances where I did have to contact the school. For severe cases you have to do that, you can't just ignore that. It's a cry for help."

He spends most of his day online, communicating with others. Receiving about 50 messages every few hours, Preston said he has to keep his own reminders so he can stay strong for others and not be brought down.

"I keep a book of reminders. Every positive message I get I put in this book. When I'm feeling down I pick it up and go through it. I do let this stuff affect me, but I don't let it ruin me. Sometimes I do get depressed and I suffer from anxiety from my years of being bullied. Just knowing that I made someone smile, or made them feel better helps me keep strong," said Preston.

He also thanked his mom for her support, which has also kept him strong.

Involvement in his hometown is something he believes strongly in. He has spoken at Fort Erie Elementary School for students in Gr. 2 to 8.

"I shared my experiences with them, but in kid form."

He's also been invited to speak at other local schools.

He will also participate in an anti-bullying event that will be held at the Fort Erie Public Library.

Preston has also been kept busy with various photo shoots. One was done by a local Fort Erie photographer who is working on a documentary about bullying.

"When I went to the library to take part in that this little girl, probably 12-years-old came up to me and asked me to have her picture taken with me," he laughed.

"It's hard for me to believe that people look up to me and when people tell me my inspirational messages have saved their lives I can't believe the impact I'm having on people," he said.

He also had a photo shoot and will appear on an anti-bullying poster. In the near future he will also be launching a website www.riseagainstbullying.org. Andrew Aitken, from Fort Erie has donated his time and the website to the cause.

Preston does this all on his own time, and just strives to make a difference in peoples lives.

"Not enough people hear positive things about themselves. Life has its ups and downs, but it does go on and it does get better. I always take something negative and turn it into something positive."

Preston is currently looking for sponsors for the upcoming concert. So far, all the funds have come directly out of his pocket.

"If we can get businesses on board to sponsor, we'll make sure they're recognized at the event, so it's advertising for them too," he said.

Rise Against Bullying can be found on Facebook.



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Comments
Posted By: TellmeToo | 6/24/13 2:53 PM
Stay tough kid and you will be proud of yourself for how many you can help
Posted By: shipshape | 6/28/13 1:04 PM
Aww keep your head up and keep doing positive! Keep influencing others!
Posted By: One01 | 7/01/13 1:11 PM
Great story buddy, don't stop.
Posted By: Tigers313 | 7/02/13 1:56 PM
How many kids do you estimate you have helped already?
Posted By: SaidatUser Verified | 8/04/13 5:19 PM
Love you !!
Story Details


Name: Justin Preston
Age: N/A
Country: Canada
Location: Toronto, ON
Gender: Male
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