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High school senior Gabrielle Jones says her peers verbally and physically bullied her throughout middle school. They would push her on the ground so they could ride her like a horse, or they would toss junk food in her seat and demand that she eat. However, once she entered high school, she was determined to fight back.

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But, instead of clinching her fists, Gabrielle, who attends Martin Luther King, Jr. high school in Cleveland, used positive language to fight the hurtful words that have victimized her for years. She entered and won Maltz Museum‘s “Stop The Hate” essay contest for which she won a $50,000 college scholarship.

“Growing up, I was always bigger than my peers,” Gabrielle explains in her winning essay. “I was friendless because no one wanted to hang out with the fat girl.”

Now, Gabrielle is the girl on TV that everyone is talking about. She wants to attend law school and become a lawyer. Gabrielle is already getting paid for fighting bullies with the spoken word, so she certainly has a future standing up for others.

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