“In my eyes entrepreneurship is about not limiting yourself. It's about that moment when you get to the end of the rope, so you decide to tie a not and hold on. It's about pushing your boundaries as an individual and pushing the boundaries of a stigma. I’ve never wanted to limit myself.”
— Aija Mayrock, a college student, activist and best-selling author of “The Survival Guide to Bullying,” at the Penn State Forum on Nov. 7 at the Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus.
Mayrock is the No. 1 best-selling author of “The Survival Guide to Bullying,” a guide for children and teens that covers everything from cyber bullying to how to deal with fear. After being bullied in elementary, middle and high school, Mayrock began writing “The Survival Guide to Bullying” when she was 16 years old. She self-published the book in 2014, before it was acquired by Scholastic in 2015. Today, the book has been incorporated in school systems throughout the U.S. and published internationally.
During her discussion at Penn State, Mayrock spoke about the impact bullying had on her growing up, lessons learned from being an entrepreneur and building a global initiative as a college student, using social media and technology to empower students, and her advice for kids, parents and schools on combating the global bullying epidemic.
A junior at New York University, Mayrock travels throughout the U.S. to speak to children, educators, community leaders and politicians about her insights and personal experiences with bullying. In the past year, she has spoken and performed spoken-word rap for more than 4 million people at the United Nations and venues such as Madison Square Garden, Staple’s Center and the Key Arena. She also has appeared on "Good Morning America" and "The View," and has contributed to Seventeen Magazine and Teen Vogue.
“I know that’s what shocking or what’s hot often gets a lot of attention, but I realized that doesn’t meant that my work can’t break through that clutter by using social media for good,” Mayrock said. “Whenever I speak to young people about starting their own global initiative or working toward their dreams, I try to remind them of the importance of breaking through the noise in a way that’s true to yourself and your mission, and not sacrificing your beliefs.”
The Penn State Forum Speaker Series is open to the public. Tickets are $21 and include a buffet lunch. Tickets may be purchased through the Penn State id+ Office, 20 HUB-Robeson Center. For questions, call 814-865-7590 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and a complete list of speakers, visit sites.psu.edu/forum.