Lawrence Middle School invited singer, dancer, author, and ‘The Voice’ finalist We McDonald to address bullying and its effects on mental health “Trampling Hate” Rally December 20.
McDonald, 23, was a finalist on the 2016 NBC show, but a few years ago she was a 12-year-old middle school student who had to overcome bullying. She was made fun of for her speaking voice and her appearance.
“I was nothing like anyone out there,” McDonald told the seventh grader, referring to her school in New York City. “They were petite, they had straight hair, they all looked alike. Here I was, with big, curly hair, glasses, pimples, and chubby.
She said she found ways to blend in with the crowd, such as buying clothes for her classmates to wear and straightening her hair. McDonald said she continued to be humiliated by her teachers, with one saying, “Class, look at Wei. Doesn’t she look much better?” ? ”
His speaking voice is high-pitched, but when he sings with a microphone in his hand, he sounds like a different person. She persuaded her father, Valleton McDonald, to sign up for her after-school music class at the Harlem School of the Arts. She took classes in opera, music theory, jazz, pop and soul. By the age of 16, she was singing in her theater Apollo, facing off against other up-and-coming singers.
One day in 2016, when she was 17, her father, who would become her manager, signed her up to audition for “The Voice.” During her blind audition, she made an impression on them when the judges moved her chair away from McDonald’s as she sang.One of the judges, she said, was chosen by McDonald’s as her coach. It was singer-songwriter Alicia Keys. She eventually finished third in Season 11 of the show.
Middle school principal Willis Perry thanked psychologist Michael Amorgianos for encouraging Perry to talk McDonald’s to students starting last year.
“Thanks to Mr. A for trying to bring this presentation to life last year and for making it happen,” Perry said. “Every time I turned around, he was at my door and said, ‘We need We MacDonald here. It’s perfect for what we’re doing here at Lawrence Middle School.'”
Amorgianos explained that the McDonald’s presentation is specifically aimed at seventh graders to ease the transition from elementary to middle school. In the Lawrence School District, sixth grade is part of the elementary school.
McDonald was invited to tell her story in hopes of inspiring her students. She chatted with them, asked if she had been bullied or was a bully, and listened to her candid opinion.
Before the assembly, the ELA class of students read her book, The Little Girl with the Big Voice, which tells of her struggles.
“We have taken responsibility for attending schools across the country,” said Varleton McDonald. “I talk about this book because it describes the specific feelings she experienced when she was bullied and how she overcame her difficulties.”
Prior to visiting Lawrence, the Macdonalds, who live in Paterson, New Jersey, were in Los Angeles.
The students displayed the posters they made after reading McDonald’s book and put them up in front of the auditorium for her to see. One poster that simply read “Donut Bully” featured a picture of a donut with a crossed out circle in the middle.