WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today recognized Hannah Guillemette of Bedford as the Granite Stater of the Month for October for her dedication to promoting kindness and combating bullying in schools.
Hannah Guillemette, a high school freshmen, has made it her mission to address bullying in schools through her anti-bullying and kindness campaign “I’ve Got Your Back,” also known as “IGYB,” which she started while she was in middle school. She began by distributing 600 IGYB wristbands with a mission tag prompting her peers to be inclusive, kind, and respectful to each other, and the effort quickly grew and has touched almost 30,000 people across New Hampshire and 14 other states. Hannah said she became inspired to act after witnessing bullying in her own school and being bullied herself for standing up for her friends.
To learn more about IGYB, you can visit the Facebook page here.
Senator Hassan launched the “Granite Stater of the Month” initiative last year to recognize outstanding New Hampshire citizens who go above and beyond to help their neighbors and make their communities stronger. To nominate a New Hampshire citizen to be a “Granite Stater of the Month,” constituents can complete the nomination form here.
The statement recognizing Hannah as October’s Granite Stater of the Month will appear in the Congressional Record once Congress is back in November. See below for the full statement from Senator Hassan that will be included:
M. President, for the October Granite Stater of the Month, I’d like to recognize an extremely thoughtful and motivated young woman who has made it her mission to address bullying in our school communities, Hannah Guillemette. Hannah, a high school freshman from Bedford, New Hampshire, started her anti-bullying and kindness campaign “I’ve Got Your Back,” also known as “IGYB,” when she was in middle school just over a year ago. She began by distributing 600 IGYB wristbands with a mission tag prompting her peers to include, be kind, and respect each other in her community, and the effort quickly grew and has touched almost 30,000 people across New Hampshire and 14 other states.
Hannah was inspired to act after witnessing bullying in her own school and being bullied herself for standing up for friends. She recalled one of her middle school friends, who was bullied so badly that he would ride his broken bicycle to school in the depths of the New Hampshire winter rather than take the bus. Hannah helped get him a new bicycle, but she was also inspired to do something more to stop the bullying that impacted him and others in her school.
The summer before her eighth grade year, Hannah came up with the IGYB program that includes a wristband, a parent hand-out, and video that explains IGYB, and how participating students are pledging to stand up against bullying and spread kindness in their schools. Now, Hannah travels across New Hampshire giving talks to school assemblies and recruiting “ambassadors” – both student and adults – in school communities to help spread the message of IGYB. She is currently working with New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and other New Hampshire officials to implement her program in all New Hampshire schools.
Hannah says that she wants to be a voice both for those who need one now and for those who needed one but are no longer here. She hopes that her IGYB movement will let students know that people support them and have their backs. For her dedication to making her community a better place and the work she has done to prevent bullying and spread kindness in New Hampshire schools, I’m proud to recognize Hannah as our October Granite Stater of the Month.