This blog post originally appears on Business Innovation from SAP.
Amazing things happen when amazing people come together. Last June, Moya Watson, (@moyalynne) an SAP employee, and some colleagues from the SAP Palo Alto Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) employee community kicked off a grassroots project to film an “It Gets Better” video to raise awareness on bullying and suicide among gay teens.
If you aren’t familiar with the It Gets Better Project, it was created “to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.” The website includes videos from over 50,000 individuals, celebrities, and organizations all offering hope to teens considering suicide as an escape from the bullying.
Many folks came forward to share their personal stories with Moya but one stood out from the rest…the tragic story of SAP employee Steve Fehr, who lost his 18-year-old son, Jeffrey, to suicide after enduring anti-gay bullying throughout his life. Moya connected with Steve and his family and their support of the project was immediate – you can learn more by watching the video below.
When Moya shared the project details with me, she asked me to go to the Huffington Post website and search on “teen suicide.” I was shocked. First came the list of stories, then their names, then their faces…and then came the tears. How many deaths will it take to stop the bullying?
According to Phyllis Stewart Pires, Head of Diversity at SAP, “to know that there are kids who are bullied for who they are to the point where they would be so hopeless is heart-wrenching and tragic…If we can positively impact even one kid, we’ve done a great thing.”
A grassroots and passionate employee group leads the way for 5 SAP leaders and 41 people to share their stories – including 1 inconceivable tragedy – all amazing people – coming together with the hope of saving many amazing lives. Please share the video below with your communities and your friends, and if you see or hear someone being bullied please step in, do your part. A kid’s life could depend on it.
Are you are feeling desperate and need help? Please reach out now. Call the Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386 or reach out via www.thetrevorproject.org.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28096801@N05/3525799414/