A Mount Sinai Middle School student will share his original anti-bullying song with hundreds of people at Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker’s concert series this summer.
Jameson Wessels, a Mount Sinai eighth-grader, was named the winner of Anker’s (D-Mount Sinai) bullying awareness music video contest on Monday. Jameson and his friend Katie Gudzik created the anti-bullying video featuring the song — called “Why?” — that will be posted on the Suffolk Stop Bullying website.
The site, which launched last year, provides information and resources about bullying and anti-bullying efforts. Jameson also received a $500 prize from the North Shore Youth Council.
The video showcases music written and performed by Jameson and stars Katie as a victim of cyberbullying. Savannah Moore, another student, wrote the song’s lyrics.
Jameson said he hopes the music video will show others how sad bullying can make someone feel.
“I’ve been bullied in my life and I think that it’s wrong,” he said. “It happens more often than you think.”
Fellow Mount Sinai student Isabela Neves won second place for her original song, while teachers Sommer and Margie Marchand, of Marchand’s School of Dance in Miller Place, won third place for their dancers’ performance of Colbie Caillat’s “Try.”
Mike DelGuidice, lead singer of Big Shot, a Billy Joel tribute band; Anthony Mingoia, drummer of pop punk band Patent Pending; and Danny “Enjetic” Rivera, of the Asking Myself Association, an anti-bullying organization, judged the entries.
“There are so many ways to get a message across and I think one of the most important ways is through creative music, and that is why we chose this type of forum,” Anker said.
DelGuidice, a Miller Place native, said bullying affected his life and now, as a father, he sees how bullying still affects kids.
“[I] just thought we could all gather together as a community and actually put a stop to it and do our best to keep our eyes on it,” DelGuidice said.
Jameson, who has been bullied, said bullying is in every community and parents and administrators can’t push the issue aside. He added that other students must take a stand and not be just a bystander when they witness bullying, which can be a hard thing to do.
“I think I’ve gotten better at it as I’ve gotten older, but it is still something many people struggle with, including me,” he said.