Long before Lauren Paul met her now-husband, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, she almost took her own life. Here’s how she turned her painful experience into a successful anti-bullying campaign that’s inspiring young women.
Paul (left) and Thompson (right) at a Kind Campaign assembly.
Lauren Paul is the pretty, beloved wife of Emmy-winning Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul. At a glance, you’d never guess the gorgeous California-native tried to take her own life in seventh grade, when she was being severely bullied. “At that time, it was so hard to see outside of those school hallways,” says Paul. “It felt like those experiences were my entire world and I had no idea at that age the incredible life that I had ahead of me.” This experience would eventually inspire Paul to create Kind Campaign, an anti-bullying nonprofit that focuses on girl-on-girl conflict.
The organization actually started as a film project. Back in 2009, Paul met Pepperdine University student, Molly Thompson, who had battled similar bullying growing up. Together, Thompson and Paul traveled the country to shoot an anti-bullying documentary, Finding Kind, and founded Kind Campaign.
Today, the video has shown in thousands of schools and Kind Campaign has positioned itself as the top anti-bullying platform in North America. Kind Campaign’s assembly program has allowed Paul and Thompson to positively change the lives of bullied girls. One student, Rachel, stood out to Paul. At the beginning of the assembly, Rachel shared her experiences—being treated like “trash” and essentially ignored by everyone in school. Many girls filled out Kind Apologies (the chance to say I’m sorry to another girl) and Kind Cards (the opportunity to tell another girl something positive) and handed them to Rachel. “She walked out of that room with a huge stack of them in her hands and a newfound confidence that was not present two hours before when we started the assembly,” Paul shares.
Lauren Paul with her husband, Aaron Paul, after he mentioned Kind Campaign in his Emmys acceptance speech.
One of Kind Campaign’s biggest supporters has, of course, been Paul’s husband, Aaron. The Breaking Bad star even mentioned Lauren’s work with Kind Campaign in his Emmy acceptance speech last month. “To watch him use part of his special moment to tell people about Kind Campaign was absolutely incredible and is such a testament to his heart,” says Paul. “That shout out created so much buzz that it actually crashed our website, kindcampaign.com.” Aaron’s support has also made it possible for Kind Campaign to launch Free to Be Kind, which offers gratis Kind Campaign programming to schools that couldn’t afford it otherwise.
In fact, Thompson and Paul are gearing up for a 30-school tour this October that was made possible by the Free to Be Kind initiative. The duo also plans to launch Kind Kits, which will grow the organization’s message. “Over the years, we have wanted to figure out a way to create a curriculum that would allow schools to host assemblies year after year without having to go through the process of booking us to travel out to speak,” Thompson explains. “Kind Kits include our documentary, Finding Kind, our 19-week Kind Club curriculum, and all of our Kind Campaign materials such as the Kind Pledge, Kind Apology, and Kind Card.” To support the cause, visit kindcampaign.com.