Video-making enthusiast speaks out for victims of bullying, travels for worldwide competition


This summer, senior Sarah Holland and junior Patrick Byrd were internationally recognized for their efforts in the fight against bullying. They both created public service announcements and entered a competition called the Great American No Bull Challenge. They promoted their videos and the competition on multiple social media platforms.

“There was a series of levels,” Sarah said. “It started off with everyone uploading their video to the site. Then there was a two-week period for public voting. You had to get all of your friends and people online to vote for your video. From there, the judges watched the top 50 with the most votes.”

Sarah credits many other people, both at Westlake and online, for the success of her PSA.

“I had my main actress, Sydney Manning,” Sarah said. “She basically did everything I told her to do even though some of it seemed a little crazy out of context. Part of my success was my YouTube audience. They were all so supportive, along with all these people on Facebook — mere acquaintances would go and share my video.”

Her video, focused on cyber bullying, made it into the top 15 and she was flown to Los Angeles for the award ceremony Aug. 8-10.

“Three of us were chosen for the PSA category,” Sarah said. “I won the single award in that category: PSA of the Year. I was very surprised. I don’t usually win things, so I was kind of in a state of shock. When I was there, standing on the stage, looking out, there were so many people who were so supportive of each other, coming together for this one common cause. My favorite thing was getting to meet all of these incredible people. Everyone at the No Bull convention was so talented and so nice. Everyone clicked instantly.”

The PSA can be found here ( The video tells a story of a teenage girl dealing with a personal account of cyber bullying. Part of the drive behind the video was a result of Sarah’s connection with the topic.

“I’ve always been kind of an outsider at this school because I grew up in another country,” Sarah said. “I wanted that outsider perspective. [Last] year, someone posted a mean picture and comments about me on Instagram and I was called to the assistant principal. I tried to channel those feelings. It was difficult because there was a lot I had to say and not a lot of time. I had to figure out how to condense my ideas.”

On YouTube, Sarah has more than 9,000 subscribers. Her channel, filled with vlogs and hair-dye tutorials, can be found here ( She posted a video announcing her entry during the public voting period.

“I had a couple girls message me saying that [my video helped them],” Sarah said. “Some of my viewers have been through some pretty awful stuff and they said, ‘thank you for making this video because I needed it.’ That’s an incredible thing: to get a message from a stranger on the other side of the world whom you’ve impacted. When I posted it on Facebook a lot of people said things like, ‘this really hit home’ and ‘this made me cry.’ I think teenagers can relate to it — everyone knows [someone] or they have gone through bullying or someone making fun of them. Everyone has some kind of connection.”

The fight against bullying is far from ending, so Sarah plans on repeating the process next year.

“I’m going to enter next year but into the short film category,” Sarah said. “That will give me two to five minutes to work with so I can expand on my ideas. It’s a wonderful cause and the more people that get involved the better and the bigger it’s going to be. [They] can donate to the No Bull cause because it’s a non-profit. They can buy merchandise. They can also support their friends who are entering. Vote, spread the word and share the link on Facebook.”

For more information on how to get involved, visit the official website:
To watch Patrick’s video, click here (