Teen uses her experience being bullied at school to empower others to standup for themselves

Workshops teach teens how to stand up to bullying

DENVER - Surveys show two out of three teenagers are bullied. For some teens it happens in person, for others it can happen online.

But now those victims have a peer who can help. She is 7Everyday Hero Ashley Berry.

With the all the wisdom and poise of someone twice her age, this 13-year old is teaching her peers how to stand up for themselves and recognize their inner beauty. It is a lesson born out of a painful experience.

"It still gets to me two years later from the things that had happened," said Berry.

Ashley suffered through most of fifth and sixth grade being bullied.

Through a series of conversations passed from one person to another, her story was shared with a country music star in Nashville. Then, Ashley got a surprise in the mail.

"I had gotten a package from Taylor Swift saying to be strong and to be myself.  And I think that was the moment where I was "Ok, I'm done with this.  I am going to be the bigger person and I am going to talk to people, and share my story," said Berry.

Ashley started an organization called G.I.R.L.S.

"It is Girls Inspiring Real Leadership Skills.  And it is basically me and sometimes some of my friends going out and talking about bullying and positive friendships and leadership and things like that," said Berry.

Ashley's message is so powerful, and so helpful, that she often writes articles for Colorado Based BYOU magazine, a self-esteem publication for young girls.

"Ashley is very proactive in making a difference and inspiring other girls to be their true, authentic self.  She is their age, she's going through it, she's been bullied, so they can identify with her," said BYOU Assistant Editor Peri Tzantarmas.

Ashley conducts these G.I.R.L.S. workshops for teens, tweens and even their parents. She gives her time so others won't fall victim to bullying or be tempted to bully others.

"It was so hard for me that I do not want anyone else to have to feel that," said Berry.

To learn more about Ashley's workshops, you can find her on Facebook by searching Ashley-Michelle-Berry. 

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