Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reached out to a teen girl Althea Bernstein who was the victim of an alleged hate crime in Madison, Wisconsin, earlier this week.
Althea Bernstein, an 18-year-old from Wisconsin, spoke to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for about 40 minutes on Saturday. The conversation was a part of the call made by the couple to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County in Wisconsin, reports Us Weekly.
Althea Bernstein, who works as an EMT, told the authorities that she was called a racist term, sprayed with what's believed to be lighter fluid on her neck and face and had a flaming lighter thrown at her by four white men in a car on Wednesday. The biracial teen who is studying to be a firefighter and paramedic patted out the flames and was treated for second and third-degree burns at a local hospital but will need follow-up care. The Madison Police Department and FBI are investigating the case.
Michael Johnson, President, and CEO of the Boys & Girls club, revealed the interaction he had with Harry and Meghan on his social media accounts and thanked them for offering words of encouragement to the young people including Althea.
"On the phone with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry shared that young people voices matter and that Madison have our thoughts, prayers and wishes. Meghan has agreed to talk with girls in Wisconsin and we will be scheduling that soon. Thank you Meghan for reaching out and checking on our kids in Madison Wisconsin today. I enjoyed the call," Johnson wrote.
In a conversation with Wisconsin news outlet Channel 300, he elaborated on the couple's interaction with Althea and said: "(Bernstein) and Meghan talked about the importance of self care and allowing herself to heal."
He also revealed that the Duchess of Sussex applauded the teenager for the way she responded to the crime. Recalling his own interaction with the 38-year-old, Johnson said: "she pretty much said, 'Hey Michael, give me her cellphone number. I want to stay in touch. And let me know when you want me to come back and talk to people in Wisconsin.'"
Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a national organisation of local chapters which provide voluntary after-school programs for young people. Its aim is "to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens."
Meanwhile, a source told Hello that Harry and Meghan have also decided to back the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which is calling for a boycott of Facebook advertising citing its failure to stop misinformation and hateful content on its platform.