Christopher Rim, 17
Like many of us, Christopher Rim was devastated by the suicide of Tyler Clementi. But the death struck closer to home, as Tyler played violin with his older brother. Inspired by the Clementi tragedy, and the vicious bullying of some of his own friends, Rim founded It Ends Today (IET) in 2011—when he was still just a 15-year-old sophomore.
The organization’s mission is to spread anti-bullying awareness and strategies via school assemblies, multimedia presentations, peer-to-peer outreach, school clubs and scholarships for students who talk publicly about their experiences with bullying. New chapters have already sprung up across the Garden State and Rim says that in the coming school year, IET will expand beyond New Jersey. (The group will also award a $2,500 college scholarship to the creator of the best YouTube video addressing bullying.) Though not old enough to drink, Rim credits Vlada Von Shats, owner of New York gay bar Vlada, for lending a hand. “[She] is really helping us connect and work with important figures in the LGBT community” he notes.
Now an incoming senior, Rim is also a crew rower, student vice-president and co-founder of the tutoring organization Prestige Review Group. The go-getter names news anchor Ann Curry and pop star Lady Gaga among his role models: “Gaga likes the break the boundaries and go a step further,” he shares. “Anyone that can do that, and be proud, is a role model.”