Kid of the Year Finalist Samirah Horton, 13, Puts Her Anti-Bullying Message to Music

From the age of 6, Samirah Horton, often known as DJ Annie Purple, was picked on by her friends for the issues that made her completely different—her raspier voice, her distinctive sense of favor, and her unwavering confidence in herself. Moderately than giving up, Horton determined to select up a mic and ensure different kids knew they weren’t alone. “I didn’t need different children to undergo that have,” says Horton, “particularly at a really younger age.” Now, alongside attending eighth-grade courses, enjoying basketball with associates, and rising a big Lego assortment, she’s additionally constructing an antibullying platform to achieve college students throughout the nation.

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For so long as Horton remembers, she’s felt a particular connection to music. Throughout a Zoom interview, she holds up a photograph of herself mixing on a turntable as a 3-year-old. She remembers her mom at all times having the radio on, and her father instructing her find out how to DJ. Lately, music fuels her mission. “It’s music that has allowed me to unfold this necessary message,” she says.

Horton’s gigs draw inspiration from the broad vary of classics her dad and mom would play. Now when she’s enjoying a set at a college or because the Child DJ for her hometown crew, the Brooklyn Nets, you’ll be able to anticipate to listen to something from the hip-hop classics of Lauryn Hill to certainly one of her present favorites, Lil Nas X. Within the combine are songs of her personal, together with antibullying anthem “No You Received’t Bully Me.”

Courtesy PhotographHorton, often known as DJ Annie Purple, encourages children to search out the boldness to be true to themselves.

Her message has reached past the DJ set. At 8, Horton turned certainly one of her songs into The Bully Cease, a e-book that college students, lecturers and directors might make the most of throughout faculty hours. Up to now, it’s reached 1000’s of individuals throughout America. Within the e-book she references the over 160,000 college students who miss faculty day by day for concern of being bullied. Horton, who identifies as Afro Latina, made certain to have the e-book obtainable in Spanish for bilingual readers. She’s additionally met with no less than 60 faculties and after-school packages to unfold her mission.

Like most teenagers, Horton’s additionally bought a knack for social media. She acknowledges that the net house can typically be a house for cyberhate, however she’s chosen to leverage the attain of platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to attach her music and motivational talking with college students from all around the world. “This message connects with everybody,” she says. “Totally different age teams, ethnicities, and backgrounds.”

Horton isn’t certain precisely what the longer term holds, however for now, she’s captivated with main her faculty’s scholar authorities and enjoying sports activities. That might make a profession as a politician or a sportscaster notably thrilling. “I don’t know precisely what I’ll be doing, however I do know I’ll be making a optimistic impression on the world,” she says.

She’s already on her approach, however her largest achievement in her personal eyes is convincing others to not doubt themselves alongside the way in which, “I don’t care what anyone tells you,” she says. “You might be by no means too younger to make a change.”

Examine extra of the 2021 TIME Child of the Yr finalists right here.

Watch the Child of the Yr broadcast particular, hosted by Trevor Noah, on Nickelodeon on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 7:30pm/6:30pm CT to search out out which finalist can be named TIME Child of the Yr


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