12-year-old's anti-bullying crusade is motivated by a boy's love for his mother
Congressman Ron Barber is helping young author Levi Fallovollita take his message to Capitol Hill.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Valerie Cavazos
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - One 12-year-old's determined drive to stop bullying has caught the attention of Congressman Ron Barber. Levi Fallavollita wants to take his message from Tucson to Washington and he might get that chance. But it's not WHAT pushes this inspirational kid -- it's WHO.
Thursday afternoon -- hours before a scheduled meeting with the Congressman -- 12-year-old Levi Fallavollita is anxious -- and nervous -- although he won't admit it. His mother, Chantel Fallavollita said, "He's playing it off like he's not nervous, but he was really nervous last night."
Reporter Valerie Cavazos asked him why he wanted to meet Ron Barber. He answered, "I thought he would help me get where I want to go -- to achieve my goals."
But before he got to this point -- KGUN9 has been covering his 6th month anti-bullying crusade -- sharing his message at his own book signing event -- interviewing students for an anti-bullying video campaign -- and inspiring people of all ages to share their own experiences.
Levi's mom said he isn't seeking all the media attention. "He once said, "Mom I get tired of interviews so can you call Oprah and give her my book."
Instead, his relentless crusade is motivated by a boy's love for his mother -- once a victim of bullies. Chantel explained, "When I was a little girl, I had braces on my legs. I was bullied really bad. It was brutal." As she helps Levi with his crusade, she said, "It's very emotional. A lot of times I want to break down and cry and he'll rub my back and say "I'm doing this for you mom."
And it's the motivation that compelled Levi to never give up until he gets to the hallowed halls of Washington.
After a 20 minute --one-to-one chat -- in Barber's office -- Levi's courageous crusade took a giant leap forward. Barber told Levi he's planning to reintroduce anti-bullying legislation this year. "And if we end up having some hearings, we'll have Levi come and testify to us in Congress about bullying because I can't think of a better voice than (Levi's)."
An invitation -- Levi proudly accepted.
Until then -- Levi is working on his second book on bullying. And he's also running an anti-bullying workshop at the 2nd Annual Youth and Peace Conference at Doolen Middle School on March 16th.