Mariely Garcia, a senior at the Richard R. Green High School of Teaching, said she is tired of watching her classmates underestimate their self-worth.
"We're all dreamers and we all want to do things but we don't do them because we're scared of what people think," she said. "We sit back and we don't talk in class and we don't express ourselves. We don't go to that art class because it's 'uncool.'"
A little over year ago, Garcia started a Tumblr page called Perfectly Made, devoted to tackling self-esteem issues among her fellow teenagers. She said she was determined to transform the page from a blog to a movement, and on April 13 launched the Perfect Revolution with the help of her classmates and the organization The Future Project.
Hundreds of high school students showed up to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza that day for a rally, and Garcia shared this video to show scenes from the day.
Garcia cited some numbers that alarmed her: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people; tens of thousands of students nationwide stay home from school each day because of bullying; and 80 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat.
She said she hopes to one day turn Perfectly Made into a non-profit organization. For now, she is concentrating on attending Bowdoin College in the fall.
Garcia was previously featured in a WNYC story about low-income students applying to top colleges.