Kyrsten Moore from Mahwah, New Jersey, is the founder of "S.H.I.N.E." (Students Helping Instill New Esteem), the winner of the 2007 Miss Teen New Jersey International pageant, the 2008 National American Miss New Jersey Teen pageant, and is the "National Youth Ambassador": and spokesperson for Love Our Children USA and STOMP Out Bullying.
"Back in sixth grade, I was overweight for my height, and I was very severely bullied. People called me names, shoved me in the hallways, and threw me into lockers. My middle school hallways became a torture chamber, and there were no laws to protect me from what was happening in those halls. I became very introverted because I felt like there was nobody to turn to, and that's when I realized that I needed to not let a bully define me. I wanted to give back and get involved afterwards."
"I've been competing in the Miss America organization for Miss New Jersey for the last three years, and in the Miss America organization, each girl is required to have a platform. My platform is the education and prevention of childhood bullying, and my partner organization is Stomp Out Bullying."
"These days, cyber bullying makes bullying almost inescapable. It can make a bully seem like they're with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and that they're invading the privacy of your own home via technology. People think that they can hide behind a computer screen, but the truth is that everything can be tracked to where that message was sent from, so there's no anonymity anymore. Technology should be used to stay connected with friends, not to hurt or harm others."
"October 1 is Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention, and we want to see everyone in a blue shirt in solidarity. If everyone takes a moment to wear blue on that day, it will make such a great impact. I've also been doing presentations in schools, and we have peer-mentoring programs and a hotline that people can call at an hour if they're suffering from bullying."
"To support Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention on October 1, you can buy one of our limited-edition shirts that Bon-Ton is selling. Also, from now through September 11, you can participate by texting 'friends' to 266866 and the Bon-Ton stores will donate $1 for every text message to the cause."
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