A B O U T U S
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
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.
HEY U.G.L.Y.'S THREE-TIER BULLYING PREVENTION PROGRAM
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
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
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.
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.
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..
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,
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,
abuse and suicide.
Approximately 160,000 children a day stay home
from school because they are afraid of being bullied.
US Dept of Education
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
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
Hey U.G.L.Y. Initiatives