Inch By Inch Chronicles – Who is Aime?
Hello and welcome! I am so glad you have stopped to read this new and oh so important blog. Each month you will find stories, tips, and tools on why creating safe spaces for youth is important and needed in your community. Drawing on themes of diversity, inclusion, vulnerability and more. First though I want to introduce myself to you.
This is a tool as well to use with the youth you support. Being vulnerable and sharing parts of yourself with the youth will help the youth begin to trust you, feel a connection to you, and start to open up as well to you.
So, who am I? Well, I now live in Calgary, Alberta, however I grew up in Pickering, Ontario.
Growing up the safe spaces I had that were outside the home was not school. School is supposed to be a happy place for kids. A place where they can learn, meet new friends, and develop their self confidence. This was the complete opposite for me. Yes, in grade 1, 2, and 3 I was happy to be going to school, I had a couple of friends by grade 3. However, in grade 3 things changed as well. I started to have problems in my studies, I was really struggling with the basic general core subjects like spelling, grammar, math, and comprehension. The teacher noticed it as well. She had a meeting with my parents, guidance counselor, and the principal.
The academic team wanted me to move into special education for the remainder of my elementary school years. The academic team said I would never write well, have struggles in all areas of my studies, be the C student, never the A student. Where I grew up in Pickering, we had elementary school that was from Kindergarten to grade 8. And then high school was from grade 9 to grade 13. My parents said no. Hold her back yes and pull her out for extra help and that is how she will get through the year.
This is when the trouble started. I was seen as the ‘new’ girl in the class. Even though I grew up going to the school. My second year of grade 3 is when the bullying started. I was laughed at when I opened my mouth in class to answer a question, I was laughed at when I tried to do things in gym time. I was called names such as stupid, ugly, dumb, retarded, and a loser daily, the entire time I was at school between grades 3 and 8. I thought it couldn’t get any worse until grade 7.
This is when the trouble started. I was seen as the ‘new’ girl in the class.
In grade 7 I was in a grade 7/8 split. I was physically attacked in the girls locker room at gym time. One of the girls in grade 8 came up behind me and grabbed me by my bra strap and flung me around in circles. All I could hear was cackling laughter by the one who grabbed me, and the other girls laughing along with her. When she let go, I went flying into the cubbies. Battered and bruised I had no clue who did it, and I was so afraid to say anything because I didn’t want it to happen more. The gym teacher came into the room finally and looked at me all red in the face and I said nothing. From that point on I changed in the washroom afraid.
I was looking for a safe space and someone to help me outside the home.
I wasn’t safe at school. And I was looking for a safe space and someone to help me outside the home. I found it in Girl Guides of Canada. My Pathfinder leader is who stands out in my heart as one who supported me when I was struggling outside the home. Every week I would dress in my striped navy/white blouse and navy skirt and into Pathfinders I went. Each week I was greeted with a smile by Tracy. I had the feelings of I am safe, I am not going to be picked on or teased.
I was right, each of us were encouraged, celebrated, and we worked together as a team. Pathfinders was my safe space. With Tracy’s help and belief in me I started to believe in myself again. She also encouraged me to volunteer. I started volunteering with a Brownie Unit (age 6, 7, and 8 at the time). Each week I went and helped the Brownie Unit come together as one group. As I know I had it in Pathfinders, and I wanted it for this Brownie Unit.
I had the feelings of I am safe, I am not going to be picked on or teased. I was right, each of us were encouraged, celebrated, and we worked together as a team.
I managed to get through the final year of elementary school in Grade 8. The bullying and name calling etc. was relentless, it happened every day. I was laughed at when I was wearing my Pathfinder uniform to school on World Thinking Day, Feb. 22. Laughed at and told I my dream of being a lifeguard would never happen. Somehow, I graduated. I was even awarded the Most Improved Student Award for our Grade 8 class. And years later when I was 16, I did become a lifeguard and swim instructor.
I know where so many youths are today, youth who are being bullied, unsure of who they are at their core, youth who are struggling with self confidence or self esteem. I have chosen to use my crazy messy experience to help leaders of youth to create their own safe spaces.
I have chosen to use my crazy messy experience to help leaders of youth to create their own safe spaces.
I invite you to reach out to me email@example.com to ask questions, or comment on what you have read. I am here to serve you!
More About Aime Hutton
Aime Hutton is a true miracle survivor. Being born 3 months early was just the start of the challenges Aime has overcome in her life time. Hailing from Calgary, Alberta Canada, as a Youth Diversity Advisor, Aime helps educators facilitate safe spaces for young female students so they can instill connection, inclusion, and courage in themselves. As a 5-time international best-selling author/compiler
Aime shares hope, healing, and inspiration through her writing. She was a finalist for the International Femtor Awards 2015 for eWomenNetwork in the category of Business Matchmaker from Dallas, Texas, USA. Being 1 of 6 in North America, and the only Canadian. In 2017 Aime was awarded the Peace & Friendship Award by Diversity Magazine in Alberta for being one who celebrates, accepts, and learns from the Indigenous people of Canada.
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