Pitbull speaks at 'Do the Write Thing' program - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Pitbull speaks at 'Do the Write Thing' program

  • Fox 29 Daily HeadlinesMore>>

  • Florida State removes statue of founder, slave owner Eppes

    Florida State removes statue of founder, slave owner Eppes

    Friday, July 20 2018 11:17 AM EDT2018-07-20 15:17:52 GMT
    Friday, July 20 2018 11:25 AM EDT2018-07-20 15:25:26 GMT

    Eppes was once commemorated as the founder of FSU, and until early Thursday morning his statue was on the school's Westcott Plaza.

    More >>

    Eppes was once commemorated as the founder of FSU, and until early Thursday morning his statue was on the school's Westcott Plaza.

    More >>
  • Trump talks tougher, now says he warned Putin on meddling

    Trump talks tougher, now says he warned Putin on meddling

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 12:31 AM EDT2018-07-18 04:31:41 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:22 AM EDT2018-07-19 05:22:31 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as he meets with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, in Washington. Trump says he meant the opposite when he said in Helsink...(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as he meets with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, in Washington. Trump says he meant the opposite when he said in Helsink...

    Rebuked as never before by his own party, including a stern pushback from usually reserved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the U.S. president sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error.

    More >>

    Rebuked as never before by his own party, including a stern pushback from usually reserved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the U.S. president sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error.

    More >>
  • Marriott hotels eliminating plastic straws by 2019

    Marriott hotels eliminating plastic straws by 2019

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 12:25 AM EDT2018-07-18 04:25:22 GMT
    Wednesday, July 18 2018 10:47 AM EDT2018-07-18 14:47:09 GMT
    The world's largest hotel company said the move will eliminate approximately 1 billion straws and 250 million stirrers by July 2019. (Source: Pixabay, File)The world's largest hotel company said the move will eliminate approximately 1 billion straws and 250 million stirrers by July 2019. (Source: Pixabay, File)

    The world's largest hotel company said the move will eliminate approximately 1 billion straws and 250 million stirrers by July 2019.

    More >>

    The world's largest hotel company said the move will eliminate approximately 1 billion straws and 250 million stirrers by July 2019.

    More >>

How has violence affected your life?

It's a tough question for anyone to answer but thousands of middle school students in Palm Beach County gave their best try in the annual Do the Write Thing Challenge. Click here to learn more about the program, which was established by the National Campaign to Stop Violence.

Students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades wrote essays and poems to answer the following questions: 

How has youth violence affected your life? 
What are the causes of youth violence? 
And what can I do to reduce youth violence?

Finalists were narrowed down to 330 students and on Tuesday morning, those kids were honored in a special ceremony at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

In a surprise appearance, musician Pitbull gave the keynote speech for the event. 

"Music was my escape. A pen and a paper changed my life. And you already took that step," he told the students.

The artist -- whose real name is Armando Perez -- grew up in Miami as a first generation Cuban American.

"I went to about 25 different schools growing up," he said. "I could've took the wrong route."

The students cover tough topics in their writings -- from emotional and physical abuse, to the foster care system or even dealing with and witnessing death.

"If you're a parent today and you have a child in the school system, it's the most frightening thing in the world to think your child could potentially get hurt or bullied. We live in troubling times and that's why we do this program," said Bill Bone, chairman of Do the Write Thing.

WPTV spoke to Jacob Flaks, a 6th grade student at Omni Middle School who placed 3rd runner up.

"My dad was abusive," he said during an interview before the ceremony.

But Flaks doesn't let that define his future. At just 12, he shared words of advice for other students going through similar experiences.

"Things can always get better, no what what the situation is," he said. "There's always light, even in the darkest of times."

Lilly McGrath, a  wrote about her brother's murder in 2016. 

"I just want kids to know that this is just one time in their life, they can get through."

Justin Hersh, a 12-year old student at Emerald Cove Elementary School, shared a poem about being severely bullied and abused by fellow students throughout his life.

"I took a step back and realized that they probably were somehow abused outside of school and were taking their anger out on me...I hope my words will help people realize that they aren't alone," said Hersh, who was selected to be an Ambassador for Palm Beach County during a trip to Washington, D.C. this summer.

Jada Lovely wrote about growing up in Belle Glade and how violence is an every day part of life around herself and classmates at school. 

"In our community, there's a lot of violence going on," she said. "We want our generation to be safe. We don't want anyone getting robbed, shot up or people bullying."

One of her close friends took a death in the family hard and contemplated hurting herself after being bullied by other students.

"We should start a bullying club to help stop it and we should show and tell someone how to solve a problem without shooting or starting any violence," she said. 

Pitbull left the kids with this final message he hopes they'll take with them to high school and beyond.

"There's no cutting corners, there's no magic formula. No cheating the system. No silver bullet. Just hard work," he said.

He also recited the lyrics to one of his popular songs.

"For those who have been through tough times but everyday above ground is a good day remember that."

This is for anybody going through times. Believe me, been there, done that. But everyday above ground is a great day, remember that," he said.

Scripps Only Content 2018

Powered by Frankly

1100 Banyan Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.