Aprildawn Photography

Aprildawn Photography's Blog

Where you can get the latest information on Authentic Personal Brand Storytelling Photography. Aprildawn Photography is located in Phoenix Arizona, and serves the surrounding areas: Gilbert, Queen Creek, Maricopa, Ahwatukee, Tempe, and Chandler. Available to Travel world wide.

Meet Austin, he is Beauty Revived!

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Meet Austin! He is Beauty Revived!

When you meet Austin, he will capture you with his polite, calm, demeanor and beautiful smile. After spending some time with Austin, I would never of guessed this kid could have been a victim of a vicious beating by a bully when Austin expresses such a warm inviting personality to everyone he meets.  We met at a golf resort in Tucson, AZ where he would be playing in a tournament. He arrived an hour early because we wanted to make the most of our time together.

 
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Austin’s story still has wounds for his family. When I inquired what exactly happened, his mother Jennifer still had tears when trying to tell the story without letting her mom-guilt get the best of her. As much as we wish we could, we can’t be there to protect our kids 24 hrs. a day. Therefore, for a long time after the incident there wasn’t much talk of the bullying at home with his mom and sister.

When Austin was 12 years old (now 13), he was attacked by another student at school during lunch time. We are not talking a couple of punches here and there, he was pummeled with “six quick punches” with at least three rounds if not more executed. After which Austin was thrown to the ground and kicked in the stomach repeatedly. Austin said he was kicked at least 18 times. Austin recalls that while going through the experience the hardest part was the spectators just watching and not willing to help. His attacker who is 3 times his size continued to kick and beat him. He called out for help repeatedly and no one would answer his call. He said he could see their faces as they just watched him get beat up for “no real reason”.

Finally, a teacher noticed Austin’s struggle, came to his rescue and got him out of the situation. Austin got up and walk away from the encounter. He even played it down with his Mother when she saw him later that night after she got home from work. Jennifer was informed by the school that there was an altercation earlier in the day and the bully was being disciplined. She realized the severity of the fight when he was walking around with no shirt and she saw the bruises that covered his small body. She said tearfully, “it was unbelievable”. At least 15 bruises on his chest, ribs, abdominal area, and back. She took him to the ER and this is when Austin’s strength came even more visible. He had a concussion, and fluid in the abdominal area, he was transferred to another hospital that specialized in trauma via ambulance. His mother was questioned by a social worker and not once did this little boy in front of his mother break down or show fear during his treatment. He kept his

calm, polite, and understanding demeanor through the whole process. That day Austin not only showed his strength by walking away from his bully - once he was able to, but his perseverance came forth. Here he is a year and half later working together with his mother on an anti-bully campaign. A campaign that says it is ok to stand up, speak out and to not be afraid to let people know.  His mother says, “If a child being bullied hears Austin’s story maybe, just maybe, that child can find the strength within themselves to fight against bullying and speak up.”  When speaking with Austin during our photo session, he told me at first talking about his experience was hard, but then he realized there were other kids who were going through the same thing, so then talking about it became easier.  Austin said he wondered what made the kid attack in him in the first place. What was he going through that he felt that was what he needed to do, to harm another kid unprovoked. Austin shows compassion to his bully and yearns to understand the “why” as he later found out he wasn’t the first victim of his bully. The bully was expelled from school and no one knows exactly where he and his family relocated, as there is still an outstanding warrant for his arrest. They seem to have vanished so far….

Today Austin shows his competitive side as he plays in a golf tournament at Rolling Hills Golf Resort of Tucson, Arizona. He enjoys sending the ball down the fairway and the competitive comradery that is shared among golfers. His perseverance and courage shine through as you speak with him or watch him play the game. Austin finished in fourth place in the Tournament.

 

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