Abbey Sager had enough of being constantly bullied in high school, so she opted to drop out and earned her graduate equivalency diploma. She turned to online games for solace and socializing until she was harassed there too—a common problem for girl gamers, who are vastly outnumbered by boys online.
It would have been easy to withdraw again, but Abbey decided she was fed up with being intimidated. Instead, she founded the Diverse Gaming Coalition. With over 50 online members, her group works to create fun and relatable ways to raise awareness about online bullying through promoting kindness online and reducing harassment.
Her idea for a comic book about bullying sparked interest. With ten core members of her gaming coalition, she created a script for the comic book and recruited an illustration student from Savannah College of Art and Design to create the visuals. With sketches in hand, Abbey and the illustrator debuted their concept at a recent comic book conference and built momentum for their project.
A few months later, Abbey won a $2,000 grant at The Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young rally, which showcased the work of passionate young people tackling tough social issues. The grant helped her reach new audiences for her comic book, which Abbey hopes will be used in schools across the country to educate students about the harm of bullying while encouraging more respectful interactions in person and online.
“We need to come together and be stronger than the bullies,” says Abbey. “Never let a bully drag you down from what you love doing most because you will never push yourself to do what you can to change the world.”