SALINAS, Calif. - A Central Coast elementary school student is being honored for his efforts to try and strike out bullying. Salinas native Roberto de Leon, 11, was honored Sunday at the San Francisco Giants game for a video he made about the world-wide problem.
"I think it's a problem because it affects so many children across the world and the nation,” said Roberto. I feel like we need to stop it at the source."
Bullying is something the Creekside Elementary School sixth-grader has never experienced firsthand, but after doing some research he realized it hurts millions and not just the victims either.
"It affects so many lives and not just the victims, but the bullies themselves because of (the underlying reason) that caused them to do this," Roberto said.
So when the Junior Giants Program held a contest asking students to design art that showed their vision for what the world would look like if it was free of bullying, Roberto saw an opportunity to make a difference. The fictional video features two best friends from different crowds who see bullying during a baseball game. The video also shows how the characters handle the problem. When asked what people can learn from the video, Roberto said it could “teach people to try and engage in activities to unite and to focus more on cooperation and not so much on competition."
Out of the thousands of applications that were submitted, Roberto's video was the winner in the 10 to 13 age group. He said it was great to have his name and hometown announced over the loudspeakers at AT&T Park but that is not why he made the video. It's this kind of humility that makes his mother so proud.
"It speaks of him as a person and how much he cares and the type of person he wants to be when he grows up,” Magdalena de Leon, Roberto’s mother said.
As for what’s next for Roberto, he said he is going to continue his push to end bullying by making more videos. In the meantime, you can check out Roberto’s video: HERE