Sense of Belonging Trumps Being Bullied

Sense of belonging

InFocus Film Intensive

Finding a place to fit in and have a sense of belonging means being accepted despite your flaws or idiosyncrasies. When someone has had to go through life with their defenses up to ward off bullies, it may require a few extra ‘takes’ for people to connect the dots and come to understand who you are and what you’re about.


This youth-created video, The Boom HD, demonstrates how with a little practice and perhaps some do-overs, caring adults and positive, peer role models can help a young person who’s been bullied and ostracized throughout their short lives find a place where it’s ok to be who you are; flaws and all.

Thankfully this bullied youngster has found a refuge where acceptance is experienced and new friends who offer support and guidance have been made. Stepping Stones is a drop in center for teens located in Carbondale, CO where they offer a comforting level of understanding and patience for any and all teens who want to hang out. It may be safe to say that Stepping Stones has been a life saver for this particular film maker.

Stepping Stones

InFocus with Laura Vogel

Caring Adults

Laura Vogel Youth Film Perspective

This is not lost on the parents as they, too, have struggled with how to help their child have the resilience and courage to endure what has been an on-going issue for them. They expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the safe haven of Stepping Stones, as well as for Garfield County PREP, in providing an opportunity for their child to express; in a creative, positive, empowering outlet such as film, what it feels looks and sounds like to be bullied. The effect was not lost on the audience who was visibly moved by watching this story unfold.

The same kids who created the films have also found a creative outlet in the music class at Stepping Stones led by Mack Bailey, a professional musician and performer. Prior to the showing of this and the other two films, Beauty and Love, the film-makers entertained the audience with a few musical numbers. I knew the class was a success when after the first number The Boom HD creator leaned over to Mack, gave a fist bump and emphatically exclaimed, “That was fun!”

Belonging trumps being bullied. Boom!