Florida teen Jaylen Arnold is a self-proclaimed “alphabet kid,” just look at all the letters he has to handle: TS, OCD, ASP.
Each set of letters stands for a different neurological disease that Jaylen has. Tourette Syndrome (TS), severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Asperger’s Syndrome (ASP) are all burdens that Jaylen has carried practically his whole life.
These challenges made Jaylen stand out at an early age, and kids who didn’t understand why he was so different bullied him at school. By the second grade the bullying had become unmanageable, and Jaylen’s parents removed him from school.
But instead of allowing that to bring him down, Jaylen turned his tragedy into triumph and began a foundation to combat bullying.
While Jaylen was in school he noticed a lot if his friends got bullied too. “When my mom made the decision to pull me out of that school, I felt like I was leaving behind all the kids that were being bullied, too. I figured if that was just my little second-grade class being bullied, what about the whole world?”
In response, Jaylen started Jaylen’s Challenge Foundation in order create a better world for everyone to live in. His organization is dedicated to promoting awareness and prevention of bullying through education and community service. He travels the country giving presentations and workshops on the effects of bullying and how to stop it. Jaylen also helps kids create Jaylen’s Challenge Ambassador Clubs in their schools to help spread his “Bullying. No Way!” message. Since its inception, the Jaylen’s Challenge Foundation has taught over 150,000 children to recognize bullying and to appreciate one another not in spite of, but because of, their differences.
Now 15, Jaylen has been spreading his message to great effect around the country for years. In recognition of his work, the Nickelodeon television show The HALO Effect, which highlights teens who “Help and Lead Others “ in their community, will be doing an episode on Jaylen.
In each episode of The HALO Effect, the profiled teen issues a “HALO Effect Challenge,” that encourages inspired viewers to participate in their cause. Jaylen’s challenge will be to encourage everyone to take part in Jaylen’s Challenge and post a selfie or video of themselves performing a random act of kindness. The show will also award a $10,000 grant to Jaylen’s organization so he may continue spreading his anti-bullying message.
At Morgan & Morgan, we are staunchly against bullying, and are proud to see a Florida teen making great strides to stop it. Our firm considers anti-bullying to be one of the most important issues we take on. If you would like to help stop bullying, visit Jaylen’s website to choose from the myriad of ways to support his great cause.