BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — A Bloomington girl is taking on bullying and racism while inspiring other young girls to be confident in themselves. When it comes to 7-year-old Carmen Vertner, confidence is not an issue.
“I am basically kind of a miniature her,” said Carmen. She is talking about her mom, Lindsey Vertner.
Last month, Lindsey wanted to check in with her children, after Carmen’s brother experienced racism and was bullied for the color of his skin.
“I will do a periodic check with her and her brother, if they have been picked on for their brown skin or their curly hair or just experience any type of racism. Because I know her brother has experienced racism as early as kindergarten, so every now and then I just check in to see where they are at. So I was asking her, you know, ‘has anyone picked on you since your skin is brown or your hair is curly?’ And she was like, ‘No,”‘ said Lindsey.
It was a reassuring answer for a mom to hear, but the impact of the conversation sparked something inside of Carmen to take action. Therefore, Carmen wrote a letter to parents in her Bloomington neighborhood, asking permission for any girls feeling sad, to attend a Be-YOU-tiful Confidence conference.
Then she asked her mom to help spread the word and make 30 copies of the letter.
“So, I start reading it and I instantly, my heart melted,” said Lindsey.
Together they made a flyer and then at the end of June eight girls came to Carmen’s house for the confidence conference.
“You are smart! You are amazing! You are unique, confidently beautiful!” said Carmen.
She gave the girls these affirmations, then they wrote positive messages in journals. After that, they worked on teambuilding with handmade puzzles. Carmen also crowned each girl with some confidence and gave them a goody bag to take home.
Then this week, she did it all again with a virtual confidence conference. She spread her message of loving yourself to another 30 girls on Tuesday evening. Carmen said the goal is simple.
“Because, if you help other people feel good, then it will make them encourage other people to feel good and then all people will feel good. And maybe bullies will stop bullying someday,” said Carmen.
That’s a message we can all have confidence in.
Carmen plans to have more confidence in conferences in the future. They are for kids between the ages of 6 and 8 years old. Anyone who would like more information can reach out to Carmen’s mom, Lindsey, on her business website here.