The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

June 3, 2014

Girls Inc. fights Against 'Budgying'

Kid-created video promotes positivity, condemns bullying

About a dozen girls working together to develop a community service project had quite a challenge on their hands: choosing just one topic.

With “bullying” and “judging” as two of the narrowed-down ideas they were kicking around, the girls got to thinking: “We decided bullying and judging are pretty much the same thing. So we came up with a the word ‘budgying,’” said sixth-grader Madison Plemens-Schunk.

Plemens-Schunk and the other girls were taking part in the YWCA’s 10-week Girls Inc. program, which helps girls develop confidence and leadership skills, among other things.

Part of the curriculum calls for discussing topics pertinent to the community, said Sheri Sander-Silva, YWCA associate director.

And “budgying” — which the girls define as “using unkind assumptions of your mind to harass another in a hurtful manner” — is certainly pertinent, especially in teen world, said eighth-grader Javeriah Chughtai.

To spread the word about budgying, the girls wrote and filmed a short video called “Budgying: A Wrong to be Righted,” which is posted on the YWCA’s website.

The video focuses on promoting positivity, promoting a collective stance against budgying, and standing up for one’s peers.

Chughtai said the main intended audience for the video is teens.

“That’s where the problem exists. I want to put a stop to it,” she said.

Plemens-Schunk said she thinks the audience could be even more far-reaching than that, including anyone of any age or gender who has ever been bullied, has bullied others, or who has witnessed bullying and wants to put a stop to it.

“Change is all around us. It’s our responsibility to make sure that it’s good change. That’s what we’ve tried to do here, and I hope it works,” Chughtai said.

Both Chughtai and Plemens-Schunk hope the video is seen by and affected by a lot of people.

Sara Sinnard, who helped coordinate and facilitate the program, said she was thrilled with the result of the girls’ efforts.

“I couldn’t believe how creative it was and relevant,” she said.

The video can be viewed and shared on social media at www.mankatoywca.org.

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