A B O U T   U S

Hey U.G.L.Y.- Unique Gifted Lovable You was founded in 2002 under the name, Hey U.G.L.Y., Inc.. It became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2004 under the name Hey U.G.L.Y., Inc. NFP. This nonprofit is dedicated to helping youth with self-esteem and empathy-building programs to empower them to be their true selves and part of the solution to bullying. The Hey U.G.L.Y. message has reached over a million students through their Stop Bullying Task Force Program Curriculum, Empathy Learning Activity Plans (ELAPs), Assembly Presentations, seminars, website, "Choose To Change" radio show which helps youth use music in their social and emotinal lives to work out their problems and that of their peers, self-esteem-building contests, and work with schools, community organizations and youth development professionals. Their youth programs enable students to become an integral part in the teaching and learning process. Their website for students is HeyUGLY.org. The website for youth is HeyUGLY.org, Educators website is PreventBullyingNow.org and a site for Parents is under development at HeyUGLY4Parents.org. It will contain insights and advice from youth and experts.  

What differentiates Hey U.G.L.Y. from other organizations with similar goals is that it helps youth have empathy for themselves and others, especially the bully. After completing the empathy for the bully exercise in Hey U.G.L.Y.'s Stop Bullying curriculum, students report an 85% reduction in the pain level experienced because of a bullying situation and also report no longer feeling alone. This is huge because, according to the Department of Education, 160,000 students report staying home from school each day because they fear being bullied. That is three million a month!

Hey U.G.L.Y. believes the first step to empowering youth is communicating with them in a way they can relate. Since the #1 influence on youth is their peers, Hey U.G.L.Y. develops all of its programs and curricula to empower youth to come up with the answers in peer-to-peer group settings, with teachers guiding them through the process. The #2 influence is the media, which is why Hey U.G.L.Y. provides schools with in-school presenters from media favorites like American Idol and The Biggest Loser. During kick-off assembly presentations these media personalities help students learn how to decrease that 'voice in their heads' that tell them they are 'all alone and not good enough.' Their personal stories about overcoming bullying and life's obstacles empower students to never give up and teach them ways to cancel out negative judgments against themselves and others by replacing them with positives thoughts. Hey U.G.L.Y.'s website is full of celebrity quotes about self-esteem, bullying, body image and dating. Their radio show, CHOOSE TO CHANGE, has youth discussing the lyrics to songs they believe will inspire positive self-esteem, equality, a healthy planet, peace or never giving up.


TIER I:  Kick-off Assembly Presentation: Conducted by one of Hey U.G.L.Y.'s media personalities who have survived bullying, these presentations get the students engaged, excited and on board.

National Hey U.G.L.Y. Spokesperson, singer/songwriter Devyn Rush, who gained popularity as the "singing waitress" on American Idol, was bullied so badly she didn't want to go to school and never felt good enough. She shares her story about how she learned to see herself and others as equal, unique, gifted and lovable people in in Hey U.G.L.Y.'s I AM ENOUGH interactive assembly presentation which includes a mini-concert of her self-esteem-building songs I AM ENOUGH and THE ALCHEMIST.

Singer/songwriter Dan Evans who overcame his addiction to food and lost 132 pounds on NBC's popular show, The Biggest Loser. Dan helps students understand the importance of loving and respecting themselves in order to break free from self-destructive behaviors like smoking, drinking and drugs. Dan makes it clear that behaviors like drama, anger and most importantly self-bullying all stem from a lack of self-worth. During this inspiring interactive presentation, he performs songs from his chart-topping CD, GOIN' ALL OUT, including the powerful LETTER TO MY ADDICTION.

Hey U.G.L.Y. co-founder, Sporty King of WGN-TV fame helps students learn to turn negatives into positives in his award-winning assembly which helps the students understand the power of their words and how they can build someone up and break someone down.

Average survey results
from students attending these assembly presentations are:

87% have not been bullied since the presentation;
86% reported not bullying anyone;
77% now recognize when they are having negative judgments against themselves and others; and
69% state they learned to cancel out negative judgments and replace them with positive thoughts.

Student-led Stop Bullying Task Force Program: Teachers take a group of 20 students through Hey U.G.L.Y.'s 5-hour Stop Bullying Task Force Program Curriculum. The group is comprised of students who have been bullied, are bullies and are bystanders to bullying situations. Once students complete the course and conduct a student-led bullying prevention assembly presentation. They are also certified to teach what they learned to their younger classmates. Since having to face your peer as a judge is a deterrent to bullying, principals can invite a task force member to preside over hearing the stories of the bully and bullied.

Tier III:  Sustainability: Hey U.G.L.Y.'s monthly Empathy Learning Activity Plans (ELAP) continue the important character education lessons of empathy, self-respect, kindness, and non-judgment. Additionally, all Hey U.G.L.Y. programs contain mandated learning standards to help educators incorporate these programs into daily curriculum and keep it going continuously throughout the school year, thus reinforcing the excitement and lessons laid down in the inspiring assembly presentation.

 Give youth the self-esteem and empathetic tools they need to be their true selves and empower them to be part of the solution to bullying, youth suicide and substance abuse..

Vision  To help all youth achieve self-esteem, embrace who they are, and have confidence in their abilities so they can become productive and empathic adults.

How we do it
 All Hey U.G.L.Y. programs and tools are designed to empower students to be their true selves and part of the solution. We help students have empathy for themselves and others. Our radio show, in-school presentations and Empathy Learning Activity Plans, available to schools and youth serving organizations, are designed to help students become an integral part in the teaching and learning process. This is crucial since the number one influencer of youth is peers.1  

To learn about all of our self-esteem and character development initiatives,
click here.

Some Facts Low self-esteem  is a critical issue facing our youth today. It has been proven that low self-esteem affects learning and can lead to such problems as bullying, delinquency, unhealthy relationships, eating disorders, violence, drug abuse and suicide. Approximately 160,000 children a day stay home from school because they are afraid of being bullied. US Dept of Education  That's over 3 million students a month. A national survey of kids in grades 6-10, found 13 percent reported bullying others, 11 percent reported being the target of bullies, and another 6 percent said that they bullied others and were bullied themselves. Experts say the facts are troubling, because bullying too often leads to violence, loss of self-esteem, depression and even suicide. Source: National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center   Suicide among young people continues to be a serious problem. Each year in the U.S., thousands of teenagers commit suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-24-year-olds, and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-to-14-year-olds. American Academy of Child &Psychiatry. Click here to learn more.

Why the name U.G.L.Y.?
We chose ugly because it is one of the most negative words in our vocabulary and one of a handful that youth use to inflict pain on others and most significantly themselves. We recognized the value of teaching how to turn negatives into positives. After hearing how Hey U.G.L.Y. co-founder, Sporty King converted ugly into Unique-Gifted-Loveable-You (U.G.L.Y), they start calling each other, and themselves, ugly with a whole new meaning that is immediate, memorable, and life changing. Recognizing the value of teaching the concept of "turning negatives into positives," Hey U.G.L.Y. developed an annual acronym contests, asking teens to take words like Dork, Hate, Racism, Stupid, Fag or Loser and turn them into positives. One contest winner converted "Racism" into Remove All Colors I'm Simply Me. A teen in Texas converted "Loser" into Love Others Show Everyone Respect. Last school year a teen converted STUPID into Stop To Understand People's Individual Differences. To learn about our contests click here

Hey U.G.L.Y. Initiatives

Board of Directors

Board of Advisors