NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Anti-bullying and staying positive was "American Idol" Season 9 contestant David Pittman’s message to the Columbus Elementary School student body in New Rochelle on Wednesday.
Pittman spoke to 30 girls from the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound, and Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle’s SMART Girls mentoring program. He discussed how he coped with growing up having Tourette Syndrome - he started noticing signs of Tourette's when he was nine - and overcoming bullying, on his way to stardom.
Pittman, an Arkansas native now living in Nashville, continued his discussion with third- to fifth-grade students. He also performed songs from his latest album, "Crazy Brave" as part of his album tour and efforts to raise awareness about Tourette's and dealing with disabilities.
Pittman will also perform Thursday at the Tourette Syndrome Association’s New York Hudson Valley Chapter's first annual gala, to be held at the Ritz Carlton in White Plains.
Pittman said it's important for people to feel confident within themselves, and that he feels he has done his job if he positively influences even one person.
“What you say to someone can affect them for the rest of their life,” he said.
Pittman is actively involved in many TSA chapters and their special events, and was a speaker at the 2010 and 2012 TSA national TSA conferences.
Columbus Elementary School Principal Sonia Nunez said she felt Pittman’s appearance would be a good supplement to the school’s recent “Power Of One” assembly.
“It ties into the Dignity For All Students Act,” she said, referring to the state's anti-bullying law.