Class Acts of 2014: A Bullying Victim Turned Advocate
This series, Class Acts of 2014, features inspiring online education graduates with promising futures and showcases how individualized, award-winning curriculum and technology enabled these students’ success.
Victims of bullying often experience serious and lasting effects. The same is true for Timothy Henry Jr., but not in the way that you would expect.
Before he could walk, Timothy was playing the drums. From pots and pans to lamps and books, he made a sound out of everything around him. At age 1, his parents gave him his first set of drums. Music continued to be a significant part of Timothy’s life as he grew. Both of his parents sang, and his father introduced him to other instruments throughout the years.
At age 9, Timothy started spending more and more time with his music, but now it seemed to be more of an outlet than a muse. His mom, Kimberlyn, noticed her son wasn’t acting like himself. She asked him about it, but he was persistent in saying that everything was fine. Still concerned, she reached out to his teachers, but could tell they were very disconnected from their classrooms, and had no idea what was really going on.
Kimberlyn began to suspect bullying when she read about other victims. She shared what she read with Timothy. He then realized what he was experiencing was bullying and opened up about it to his mom.
As a result, Timothy and his parents founded JoinOne Anti-Bullying Organization “to promote a sense of self confidence, individuality and to protect those susceptible to insults, harassment, and attacks by their peers through music and education thereby enabling them to live a life free from fear and seclusion in their homes, schools, and public.” They planned events where Timothy reached kids on a peer-to-peer level, often through song and dance as the Artist TEEBO.
With much of his time being dedicated to the organization and his music, Timothy required a flexible schedule. His parents found an alternative in K12’s Texas Virtual Academy. At first, he was hesitant, but after attending orientation while on vacation in California, he realized what online education could mean for him. He could go to school in any location, as long as he had a computer.
Now, Timothy Henry Jr. is a 2014 graduate of TXVA. He is pursuing a career in music, and is headed to California in August to meet with Atlantic Records, Sony Music, and Motown for his chance in the spotlight. Regardless of where life takes him, he will always be a part of the JoinOne Organization, and an advocate against bullying.
Have more questions for these graduates? Send them to [email protected]
Brittany Marklin is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a community manager for K12. She coordinates all K12 student contests and connects with families who pursue online education. She attended George Mason University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, with a minor in tourism and events management. Brittany spent her first five years at K12 on the social media team where she aided with content and strategy for multiple channels, and helped construct K12’s user-generated content site, “What’s Your Story?” When she’s not working, Brittany loves spending time with her husband and daughter in North Carolina.