NewsInspiring South Florida


11-year-old singer overcomes bullies, offers advice to other children

'Stay focused, stand up for yourself and get help,' Bailee Bonick says
Posted at 3:36 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 19:43:09-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

One man is working with kids across the state and in our area to make sure they are given the tools to stop the cycle.

WPTV first met Bailee Bonick, a small girl with a big voice in 2018, when she was 7-years-old.

Years later, at the age of 11, the sixth grader's tune hasn't changed much. But between then and now, her feelings have.

Bailee's powerful voice has gotten her various accolades on and off stage. But she said it's also made her a target for bullies.

"It made me feel like I was kind of alone, but then not alone at the same time because I knew I had my family to support me. But also just how I was being treated I knew wasn't right, and it needed to be solved and my feelings needed to be solved," Bailee said.

Vikki Bonick
Vikki Bonick speaks about how bullying affected her daughter.

Her mom, Vikki Bonick, was one of the first to notice.

"There's jealously. There's haters out there, so yeah, you do expect it to happen, but of course, you always get upset when you hear it's your child," Bonick said.

Statistics paint their own picture of the seriousness of the issue, according to

About 20 percent of U.S. students in grades 9-12 have experienced bullying, and only 46 percent of those between 9-12 years old notified an adult at school about the bullying.

"The problem needed to be fixed, so I could go on with what I loved to do," Bailee said.

Sean Roberts
Sean Roberts speaks about how his project is working to combat child bullying.

For her, that meant singing, acting and dancing.

The Bonicks found help in Sean Roberts, a bullying victim himself, and his organization AMRAK.

"[It is] an organization that takes negative experiences from individuals who have been bullied, and what we do is we put them in film projects to boost their self-esteem and to help themselves and help others," Roberts said.

Through networking, mentorship and multimedia projects, Bailee was able to overcome her bullies.

Roberts said his message to Bailee was simple.

"Listen, you are important. These things are happening to you because they know that you're going to be great," Roberts said.

Kyle Hunt of the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County
Kyle Hunt explains how bullying and depression can impact children.

The Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County invited Roberts to speak about bullying.

"When people are hurt, they hurt people. And so it's not a reflection of who you are, it's a reflection of who they are," explained Roberts.

It's something that Boys and Girls Club staff have been increasingly aware of as they look at other mental and emotional tolls of the pandemic.

"We know that because of depression there's a high yield in anxiety, and because of anxiety this also causes some unstable moods in our members and also our families," said Kyle Hunt of the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County.

In response, the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County has hired seven additional social-emotional learning specialists this year.

It's a reassuring sign for those affected by bullying and wanting to help others.

"The big thing is stay focused, stand up for yourself and get help," Bailee said.