VALMEYER, IL - A high school senior is working to end bullying by giving people a visual way to connect with others. Mason Williams is the founder of “X to the Fourth,” an anti-bullying clothing line.
“We’re a collection of people that strive towards the prevention of bullying in our local communities,” said Williams.
The logo for the company is four X’s, or is it?
“If you look within the lines of the logo, you’ll see many different things,” he said. “You’ll see my initials ‘MW;’ you’ll see two W’s on top, two M’s on the bottom; some people even see people holding hands with each other.”
Williams said the many ways people can interpret his logo represents the many ways people can view the world, and just because people see things differently, does not make one person right or wrong. He encourages people to listen to other’s viewpoints and embrace their differences.
The idea for the company came to Williams in an entrepreneurial program at Valmeyer High School. He said Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities teaches students how to run a business with interactive activities.
After working successfully with others, each student was tasked with starting their own business. Growing up, Williams said he was picked on, called names, and rejected. He felt alone.
“I hated feeling the way I did when I was bullied,” Williams said. “I don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
He wanted to create a sense of community and give people a visual way to easily spot an ally.
With the guidance from local entrepreneurs, the aspiring math teacher is learning firsthand how to run his own business. Through his online store, Williams sells t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, and bracelets.
Williams hopes his products and message multiply beyond the hallways of his school.