TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Jaylen Arnold as the ninth Lightning Community Hero of the year this morning at Victory Christian Academy, located in Lakeland, Florida. Arnold, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the charity he started himself, Jaylen's Challenge.
Arnold was diagnosed when he was four-years-old with Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome. Despite being only 12-years-old, Arnold was bullied in the classroom by not only his fellow classmates, but also his teachers. Although he is suffering from severe vocal and motor tics, Arnold is making it his personal mission to raise awareness to help fight against bullying. Arnold spoke with his own classroom this morning for the first time about bullying and the charity he started.
More than 18 million children are bullied every year in the United States. He is trying to stop bullying by travelling around to local schools with a curriculum package that includes a video, teacher's guide, wrist bands for students and booklets. Arnold is determined to halt the escalating national problem of bullying by creating Jaylen's Challenge, an organization and website raising awareness about this crisis with the motto: BULLYING NO WAY! Arnold has appeared on both local and national television programs to help communicate his message.