"Dalaya was blessed by the outpouring of love and acceptance by so many children around the WORLD! I can’t thank them (the BAFP) enough for being a caveat for change in a society where we see so much hatred via the news, social media, in our communities, and sadly in our own homes.
I tell my children all the time, be the change you want to see. Don’t wait unti the other person stands up and does something. You can be a beacon for others. So my family will join in on this Project. We will be hosting monthly meetups at our home. This is where we can gather together and create mailings and boxes to the other children who are spotlighted." ~ Dalaya's mom, Dawn
Enjoy these pictures and Youtube of Dalaya's Friend Mail and Surprise Delivery...
~ Dalaya's Story ~
Kind 6th Grader who stands up for everyone else, heartbroken by bullies targeting the color of her skin.
11-year-old Dalaya is "a sweetheart," says her mom. "Creative, spunky and hilarious," the 6th Grader from North Carolina loves to laugh, do TikTok dances and be outdoors. Her passion is Volleyball, and even though she didn't make the team at her middle school this year, her sportsmanship and persistence are apparent strengths as she still attends games to cheer on the team, and studies Volleyball YouTubes to learn how to become a better player. Most of all, Dalaya loves spending time with her family watching movies and playing games. Her heroes include comedian Sheryl Underwood from "The Talk" and Maya Angelou, whose poem Phenomenal Woman she put on her bedroom wall.
Dalaya is very kind to others and so friendly that when the bullying started, it took her by surprise. She is an 'UPstander' at heart, so it was especially sad when she didn't receive the same support from her peers. Dalaya's mom found out about the bullying when her daughter sent a text from school: "Mommy, can I please switch schools?"
Dalaya's heart-wrenching text went on to finally share about the bullying she was enduring: "Everyone keeps making fun of me for the color of my skin or the way I look ... people keep making jokes about me saying I'm from Africa because I'm super black ... they say I stayed in the oven too long because I'm basically the color of burnt ... they won't stop even if I tell them to and they think it's funny when it's not, they think I can change my skin color."
The verbal and social bullying was constant, in every classroom. Using peer pressure, her bullies would get other students to gang-up and join in. The cruelty became virtual too, when she received a message that if she came to school, "It would not be a good thing."
Beautiful Dalaya - so smart and vibrant! ❤️🤩
After reporting the bullying to the public school district, Dalaya's mom told local news reporters from WRAL, that two solutions were extended - "have Dalaya leave classes early to avoid being bothered - or register in different courses."
Dalaya's mom voiced the question of every parent of every bullied child that we have ever known: "Why should my child have to change when she is the victim?"
Dalaya remains at her middle school as the family continues to be a voice for other bullied kids at the school that are afraid to speak out. They are working with administration to ensure "justified consequences against students accused of bullying."
Since news stories came out in November 2022 about Dalaya being bullied for the color of her skin, the community has rallied with support and the bullying has been less consistent, but still continues.
To quote Dalaya's mother, "To an 11-year-old, words matter. They cut deep."
A YOUTUBE INTRODUCTION OF Dalaya by our On-Air Teen Ambassador, Brielle Withers, is a good way for young students to learn her story!
Ambassadors, we all know healing from the trauma of bullying is a lifelong process. Your "Friend Mail" letters, videos and gifts of support with empathetic and inspirational words and art, WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! Dalaya's parents want their daughter to grow up KNOWING she is beautiful, smart and powerful - and so do we ALL!!
Just imagine the positive impact of an entire SURPRISE "FRIEND MAIL" DELIVERY from Dalaya's PEERS nationwide - let's bring her a thousand words of support for every cruel and untrue word she has heard about herself by bullies.
"CHANGE ONE LIFE AND YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. IT'S IN YOUR HANDS!"
THE DUE DATE FOR DALAYA'S "FRIEND MAIL" IS APRIL 21ST!
Friend Mail must arrive in our NY office for review by the Due Date to be included in the main surprise delivery!
Mail "PHYSICAL" letters to:
Be A Friend Project
P.O. Box 30
Beacon, NY 12508
Email letters, videos, scans & Google Drive links, send to: