Updated: May 20
Kindness takes courage, which requires confidence. Kids who are confident are empowered to stand up for themselves and others. They don't succumb as easily to peer pressure.
Students learn from our school assemblies how Peter lives confidently with a facial difference. He talks about his hearing aid, prosthetic ear, and surgeries in a fun and educational format that puts kids at ease. He explains how he keeps a positive perspective, and he encourages them to embrace what makes them different. Peter also tells students why diverse friendships are important.
Embrace Your Differences - Peter shares his medical story using humor and easy-to-understand facts. They learn that differences are nothing to fear.
Pursue Your Passion - try new things that interest you and don't be afraid or embarrassed about it. Peter tried many clubs and activities before he found that playing guitar is his passion. You have gifts and talents that are meant to be shared with the world.
Find Your Tribe - Peter shares that real friends don't pressure you to change. Good friendships give and take equally. One of the best ways to find your tribe is spending time with friends who enjoy the same activities and have similar values as you. Peter was active in Best Buddies and Young Life clubs in high school, and he made many friendships through School of Rock.
Honor Diversity - We share this world with 7 billion people, and we are each writing our own story. Everyone is writing at a different pace, from a different perspective, and with a different goal. Each of our stories contributes to another, so it's important to be authentic in what you're writing. Keep your eyes on your own paper because the world needs your story, not a copy of someone else's. Remember that new characters make your story interesting, so get to know people who are different from you.
Amplify Kindness - We explain that everything you do and say impacts someone else. Being kind is the easiest thing we can do for one another; it costs nothing. We discuss the difference between being "friendly" and being "a friend." Being a friend takes effort and time. We define what it means to be an upstander; it means you have the courage to stand up for others. We teach kids how to be an upstander using 3 steps: 1) Notice - be aware of someone who could use a friend, 2) Act - introduce yourself and start a conversation, and 3) Check Back - It takes time to get to know someone.
About Pete's Diary
Dede & Peter Dankelson are a Hockey Mom & Rock Guitarist Son who challenge you to be the hero in your own life story. Peter was born premature and diagnosed with Goldenhar Syndrome. He persevered through 35 surgeries before he was 19 and is literally rocking his life with a facial difference! Dede and Peter share their different perspectives to educate and motivate audiences of all ages. They teach students how to have the courage and confidence to overcome peer pressure, practice inclusion, and end social isolation. Learn how to rock your life, amplify kindness, and laugh along the way! Find them online at PetesDiary.com.