Children and Youth

Hollister proclaims May 6 as Samantha Slykas Day

High school student behind anti-bullying event has bigger plans for 2020.
Samantha Slykas said her March anti-bullying event could not have succeeded without the help of family, friends and community members. Photo by John Chadwell.
Samantha Slykas said her March anti-bullying event could not have succeeded without the help of family, friends and community members. Photo by John Chadwell.

The Hollister City Council recognized Samantha Slykas, 14, for her efforts to curtail bullying by making May 6 Samantha Slykas Day. In presenting the proclamation, Mayor Ignacio Velazquez said Slykas had put on an incredible presentation on anti-bullying.

“So often I’m so impressed with our young people, but this presentation moved myself and several council members who were there,” Velazquez said. “We’re so proud to have May 6 named after you.”

Velazquez read part of the proclamation: “Whereas bullying has escalated to an unacceptable proportion across the globe, interfering with the emotional, social and academic development in our youth. Now, therefore, I, Ignacio Velazquez, Mayor of the City of Hollister, do hereby proclaim May 6, 2019 Samantha Slykas Day in the City of Hollister for her humanitarian efforts on anti-bullying.”

Slykas said she hosted the self-awareness event at Veterans Memorial Building on March 2 for her 4-H project. The event covered topics like cybersafety, awareness of one’s surroundings, how to avoid being a bystander and being tolerant of others. High school students and their parents performed skits dealing with strangers and bullying. Over 200 community members attended.

“Many families were able to take home important information,” Slykas said. “I’ve been asked by many people to repeat this type of event. Those organizations that hosted tables at the event, they were very moved by how well it went and they would also like to host a booth once more.”

She said she is planning a safety fair for 2020.

“I’m still working out the details and would love to have your support in helping to make this event a larger success,” she told the council. “Thank you for this honor, but I’d like it to be known that this large event could not have been such a success without the help of family, friends and committed citizens in San Benito County. It does take one to make a difference, but it takes a whole community to put a good effort into action.”

 

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SBHS student brings safety and anti-bullying message to Hollister

 

John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a BenitoLink reporter and an author. He has many years experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime that are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: johnchadwell@benitolink.com.