Sharleigh Thompson

What School(s) do you attended? What are your favorite subjects? Year of Graduation?

I attend the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School full-time. My favorite subject is English. I plan to graduate by 2015, but I might graduate earlier.

Why did you want to become a TIGER?

I have wanted to be a TIGER since I was a little girl. TIGER used to visit our school and after the performance I would always end up singing the finale song(I can make it happen! I can make it right….)

Have you experienced any of the issues that TIGER addresses and how did you get through them? And what advice would you offer kids in the same situation?

I was bullied throughout elementary school for a variety of reasons. I was not a “cool kid” by any means. My family was poor, my clothes were from thrift stores, and I mainly hung out with the guys in my class, playing Pokémon or Harry Potter. . I was teased and excluded. One year I really thought I had made a friend of a girl in my class. We were close…eventually too close. She was extremely possessive of me and would get mad and throw tantrums when I tried to hang out with some of my other friends. This was very difficult and confusing for me. I wasn’t sure how to respond to her behavior. My teacher wasn’t very helpful and brushed off the problem as a simple playground conflict. But it was so much more than that. It took finally getting my mom involved and having her talk with me to my friend and her mother to get the issue resolved.

In Middle school things got bad. I had always loved school, but when I went to the middle school I started to loath it. It made me feel sick to think about going to school. You would think that it was the kids that were the problem – I wish. That isn’t to say that they were kind to me, they weren’t. My best friends decided it was far more fun to hang out at the cheerleader’s lunch table than with me, and by the time I got there my guy friends were already busy talking about football. But I had a good friend to help me through it. He rode with me on the bus, sat next to me in our classes and talked with me at lunch. But like I said, the students weren’t the problem, it was the teachers. The teachers in the middle school were cruel and unkind and humiliated me in front of their classes. I was miserable. I talked with my mom and she organized a meeting with the teachers, but it only made things worse. Six weeks into the sixth grade my parents realized how horrible the experience was for me and pulled me out to be homeschooled. I have been homeschooled for five years now and I have never looked back.

If you are struggling with bullying, be it from a teacher or a peer, tell someone who you trust who cares from you. There is always a way to make things better and you are NEVER alone. The most important part of getting a bullying problem resolved is to “T” Tell an adult.

What reaction or memorable experienced has touched you the most since becoming a TIGER?

I haven’t been on tour yet, so I do not have any tour experiences to report. I can only say that I know from a child’s perspective just how much of a difference TIGER can make.

What kind of music is on your I-pod? Name a few artists we’d find or a favorite tune or two…

Ahh, my MP3-player has country music and show-tunes on it Taylor Swift, Alan Jackson, Sierra Boggess, Brian d’Arcy James, and Sutton Foster are all harmonizing on my player.

What inspires you?

My family inspires me. My Mom and Dad are strong, determined, passionate people and they inspire me to reach for the stars and believe in the impossible. My Brother, Alec, he is everything to me, though I may not always show it. He is my rock, my shopping buddy, photographer, and my very best friend. He inspires me to be a better person and to make the world a better place.

What is your favorite quote or saying?

I have a lot of favorite quotes, but at the moment I am stuck on this passage from Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

What is your favorite…

TIGER Song: The Finale

Musical: It’s a tie between Les Miserables and The Secret garden

Movie: No Reservations

Recording Artist: Taylor Swift

Actor: Harrison Ford

Actress: Lea Salonga

TV Show: Touch

And finally, who is your favorite tiger and why?

Tigger, from Winnie the Pooh, is the best tiger ever. He’s just so eternally happy and energetic.

Performance Highlights

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“I watched as a parent, a teacher, colleague and friend. My mind was racing with emotions and these feelings all stemmed from students’ voices through their writing. They conveyed such a powerful message.”

- K. A. McLoud, Teacher, Plymouth Elementary School.