HARTFORD, Conn. - WWE Executive Vice President of Creative Stephanie McMahon and David Otunga took WWE’s anti-bullying initiative, Be a STAR, to Connecticut’s capital city Monday, where they spoke to students at Hartford's Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth and Family Center. (PHOTOS)
Approximately 50 students and their families were in attendance for the presentation, making it one of the more unique Be a STAR rallies.
"It was more intimate and allowed me to listen to the kids on a one-on-one basis," Otunga said. "It's great that the families are here. That way, they can hear our message and implement it at home."
McMahon told the students and media present that Be a STAR is one of the most important initiatives WWE has created, as it reaches the young people who watch all of WWE’s programming on a weekly basis.
"A lot of people know that WWE is an incredibly powerful brand, but what a lot of people don’t know is that WWE is all about giving back," she said. "WWE uses its powerful voice and reach to help support our community, and spread the message against bullying."
McMahon then introduced Otunga, the Harvard Law-educated WWE Superstar who shared his personal story about how bullying has played a role in his life.
"I had big, thick glasses when I was young, and was bullied," he told the students, then stressed to the children that they need to tell someone if they're being bullied.
"It's important to reach out," he said. "You're not alone. Talk to a parent, teacher, guardian or a friend."
The students had many questions for both McMahon and Otunga, as dozens of students raised their hands in unison.
"The event was great. The kids seemed really into it and asked great questions," Otunga said afterward.
At the end of the event, all of the students, teachers and media present took the Be a STAR pledge, vowing to do their part in helping to end bullying in school and on the playgrounds, enthusiastically chanting “Don’t be a bully, Be a STAR!”