Standing up for Bega shire’s young students

ANTI-BULLYING campaigner Imogen Pittolo is the Bega Chamber of Commerce’s Community Young Citizen of the Year for 2014.

The 17-year-old Bega High School student launched the “Get Up, Stand Up and Fight” Facebook page last year with her friend Katelyn Jensen from Tumut (BDN, 20/8/13).

The girls post anti-bullying videos, inspirational messages and links to other websites such as beyondblue, Reach Out and the Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation’s Head Space site.

Imogen also backs up that information with anti-bullying talks and workshops at school, including working with Year 6 and 7 students making the transition from primary to high school.

In an interesting – and worthy – twist, Katelyn is also up for a community citizen Australia Day award in Tumut.

 “Katelyn and I are both passionate about anti-bullying,” Imogen said (20/8/13).

“As young people we hope we would be able to make a difference by making a connection with other young people facing this issue.”

“The response from both our communities has been really good.”

Along with her Facebook page, Imogen is a member of the BHS Student Representative Council and the Bega Valley Youth Council.

Through the Youth Council, Imogen helps plan Youth Week events and other activities for the Valley’s young people.

To add to her impressive list of community involvement, she recently shaved her head for CanTeen, raising $1255 in the process.

Imogen is also heavily involved in sport, both local and further afield.

She plays club soccer with the Bega Devils and state rugby union with the ACT schoolgirls – the avenue through which she first met and became friends with Katelyn.

“I got injured last year and missed the whole soccer season, so I’m really keen to get back out there this year.”

Imogen said she was “pretty excited” about her Australia Day honour.

“I enjoy what I do and I enjoy doing things for the community,” she said.

* To check out Imogen’s anti-bullying Facebook page, visit www.facebook.com/GetUpStandUpAndFight.

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