When Paige Glazier returned to her former high school after two years, the 17-year-old was greeted with the last thing a teenaged girl would want to see.
In bright orange spray paint, a vulgar phrase which included her name was emblazoned on the side of her school.
It had been similarly cruel remarks and taunts from former friends that had spurred her to leave Elgin Park Secondary for private school two years prior. After mustering up the courage to return, she had thought things would be different.
“My principal, Mr. Filsinger, spent his first Family Day, not with his family, but scrubbing the neon-orange spray paint off the school’s walls by the front door,” Glazier recalled of last Feb. 11.
The incident spurred the White Rock teen into action, resulting in the creation of her pro-social behaviour campaign “Orange You Glad You’re Not A Bully.”
Glazier chose to use orange as the colour for her campaign, turning a negative experience into one that could benefit others.
“I decided this had gone on for long enough and it needs to stop,” she said, noting the program aims to prevent the negative social behaviour in young children before it becomes a habit.
In the months since she decided to organize the campaign, Glazier has divided her time between her duties as a B.C. Ambassador candidate and the program.
With help from her tech-savvy grandfather, who has an extensive background in developing software, Glazier is in the process of creating a phone app that would provide an outlet for youth struggling with bullying, depression and other social stigmas.
The app also includes short videos featuring doctors from around the province providing information and methods to cope.
“It’s amazing to have these professionals behind me. It shows that this isn’t just some app created by a 17-year-old girl,” she said.
“The aim of the app is to take someone from feeling the worst they have felt to ‘I’m OK.’”
In addition to the app, Glazier is focusing on writing a book designed for preschool- and elementary-aged children that would teach them positive social behaviour.
The book and app are set to be released in mid-September, but Glazier will be giving the community a preview of her efforts this weekend at the Spirit of the Sea Festival.
Along with hosting the Waiter’s Race, Glazier will have an orange tent set up on Saturday and Sunday with T-shirts and wristbands in her signature colour.
“You won’t be able to miss us,” she laughed.