Ally graces ABC TV’s ‘We Day’
Ally Del Monte, 16, of New Milford, is doing her part to support kids experiencing bullying.
Her approach is a blog called “Loser Gurl.”
Ally will appear next Friday, Aug. 21 at 8 p.m. on ABC TV’s “We Day,” a program that brings together young people working for social change.
“They found me through my blog,’ said Ally, who is home-schooled in New Milford. “They contacted me and asked if I’d be part of the program.
“A film crew came out to our house for a few days in March, and then my mom and I flew to Chicago, where they filmed more at the We Day arena.”
We Day is a movement, as well as a periodic television special. Events take place in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. More than 200,000 young people came together in stadium gatherings in 14 cities during the 2014-15 school year to take part in the educational initiative.
It is connected to the yearlong We Schools program, which provides educational resources and campaigns to help young people turn their inspiration for social change into sustained action.
Since 2007, youth in the We Day movement have raised $45 million for more than 1,000 local and global causes, according to Craig Kielburger, the co-founder. The youths have collected 5.6 million pounds of food for local food banks and logged 14.6 million hours of volunteer service, Kielburger said.
“Today’s generation of young people have the power to create and lead real systematic change,” he said. “Youth across America are taking action on local and global issues and becoming caring global citizens in the process.”
For Ally, bullying has a personal face.
As a student at Schaghticoke Middle School, she endured bullying that led her to a suicide attempt at age 13, her mother, Wendy Del Monte, said. For 18 months, Del Monte stayed by her daughter’s side, caring for her as she overcame her depression.
Ally started writing her blog, “Loser Gurl,” in early 2012 at losergurl.com.
“After all the horrible things I went through, I felt really alone, and that no one cared about me,” she said. “I wanted to inspire others going through the same thing.
“I get lots of emails from people all over the world asking for my advice. A lot of times I give them the link to my mom-and-my blog, ‘31 ways to be brave in bullying.’ ”
“Kids can feel so isolated,” her mother said. “Ally said it was amazing to be in Chicago filming the We Day program, where everybody was committed to doing something to make the world better.”
Del Monte said kids everywhere experience bullying and, while many schools “pay lip service” to addressing the problem, kids find themselves dealing with it on their own.
Ally blogs her thoughts and life experience. Recently, she blogged about Hispanic singer Selena Gomez when public attacks were occurring about Gomez’ weight.
“I met Selena Gomez and had watched her on TV,” Ally said. “She told me I helped her through my blog and that I was going to go someplace special in my life.
“She’s such an amazing person. It’s nobody else’s business if she’s overweight. And she’s not fat.”
A viewing party for “We Day” is set for Aug. 21 at 1st and 10 Sports Bar & Grill, 507 Danbury Road (Route 7 South) in New Milford, starting at 6:30 p.m. The show will air on ABC TV at 8 p.m.