LAKELAND, Fla. – Anti-bullying activist and founder of Jaylens Challenge Foundation, Inc., Jaylen Arnold, has committed to attend Southeastern University in the fall of 2019. Arnold announced his decision to attend the university at Southeastern’s leadership conference, Forum at SEU, today.
“We are looking forward to having Jaylen join Southeastern University’s community this fall. We are inspired by his strength to turn a negative experience into an opportunity to educate people about bullying and advocate for those who have been bullied. He is truly a remarkable young leader,” said Dr. Kent Ingle, president of Southeastern.
At a young age, Arnold was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. When he was 8 years old, Arnold was bullied at school. Determined to educate people about respect and bullying, he founded Jaylens Challenge with a goal to spread his message nationwide.
Soon enough, his story was featured on the Ellen show, CNN, and Katie Couric. He also garnered the attention of actor Dash Mihok of Showtime’s Ray Donovan, who also struggled with Tourette’s at a young age. Now a mentor for Arnold, Mihok has traveled to speak with Arnold at schools on bullying and also serves on the board of Jaylens Challenge Foundation. More recently, Arnold received the Princess Diana Legacy Award from Prince William and Prince Harry and was featured on NBA superstar LeBron James’ social media.
Jaylens Challenge Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit, charitable organization that is dedicated to promoting awareness and prevention of bullying through education and community service. To promote awareness, the organization puts together a presentation for students to understand why bullying is a problem and highlights how they can help people who are bullied. Arnold then shares his personal experience of being bullied. The organization also distributes curriculum which has received the National Parenting Seal of Approval and the iconic “Bullying No Way!” wristbands which Arnold created. To date, Arnold has spoken to more than 240,000 students across the nation.
“I understand I will have to slow down a bit on a national [speaking] level during this transition in my life. My classes and education will take priority, but when God calls me to action, I will trust He will set everything into place and I will go! Strengthening my organization and ‘planning ahead’ abilities will be key,” said Arnold.
Arnold has been dual-enrolled as a student at Southeastern for two years, earning 18 college credits, while attending high school at Victory Christian Academy. He plans to pursue a degree in film production, with the opportunity to study at the LA Film School his senior year. He will also continue to advocate for Jaylens Challenge while enrolled.
“It really is such an honor to be attending a beautiful school with outstanding staff and peers. I will never be able to exaggerate my thanks enough!” said Arnold.
For more information, please contact Dana Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 863.667.5020.
Photo caption (left to right): Dr. Kent Ingle (President of SEU), Jaylen Arnold, and Dr. Chris Owen (Executive Vice President of SEU)