Ryan Laird, a two-time Canadian Country Music nominated recording artist, is set to visit two area schools on Thursday.
Laird is bringing his ‘BiggerThanThat!’ presentation – a bullying prevention and youth empowerment event – to Poplar Ridge School and Glendale Sciences and Technology School for two hour-long assemblies.
“I use my own personal story of how I went through bullying in school and how I had to work through it and persevere through it and pursue my dreams to be in country music,” he said. “I hope to motivate the students through my story to do the same in their lives. I always tell the kids that if they have a dream or an ambition in life, that they have the right to go after that and they shouldn’t let a bully or anybody tell them that they aren’t good enough or that they don’t deserve to do that.
“BiggerThanThat! is just a motivational, positive message-driven movement.”
Laird added he was able to overcome bullying in his school years by learning the power of communication.
“Just being willing to talk about it made a difference. I was pretty shy as a kid and kept in my shell. Because of this there was no repair happening there. When I started talking about it things got better.”
In addition to his personal story, Laird shares his music during the presentation and also invites students to share their stories, or share a dream that they may have as well.
“It’s really rewarding (to know I am making a difference). They say the youth today are the future of tomorrow. Just having been through that and having those feelings of being bullied – it’s just not necessary, we don’t need to be putting people down, we need to be picking people up.”
For more information about Laird’s presentation, visit www.biggerthanthat.org.