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October 2013 | Grants Results

One Young Woman’s Fight Against Cyberbullies

For cyberbullying research, Rachel Mayo (right) won an award funded by The Trust, leading to a law signed by Mayor Bloomberg.
In middle school, Rachel Mayo received hateful instant messages and posts to her MySpace page. In high school, she started researching cyberbullying.

She concluded the problem was prevalent but underreported in City schools and recommended an anti-cyberbullying campaign with an anonymous reporting system.

Mayo, who now attends Brandeis University near Boston, won the $2,000 second-place prize in the Working in Support of Education (WiSE) Quality of Life Competition. A teacher encouraged her to send the report to her councilman, Mark Weprin, who decided to sponsor legislation based on her research: It authorizes the City’s Human Rights Commission to run anti-cyberbullying workshops in schools, libraries, and government agencies. Mayor Bloomberg signed the law in 2012.

Over the past five years, The Trust has granted WiSE $210,500 for the competition, which has inspired hundreds of New York students to find solutions to real-world problems.

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