JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- According to the Ambassadors 4 Kids Club, four out of every 10 students drops out of high school because they are bullied.
Along with Project SOS, one local woman is trying to stop bullying by sharing her personal story.
Katrina Rogers, 31, wasn't always the confident woman she is today. As a young girl, she says she was repeatedly bullied.
"I was bullied a lot. It hit home for me, especially in the fifth grade. I've always had issues with self-image, what I looked like, especially with my face, things like that -- never really been considered pretty," said Katrina Rogers, Youth Development Specialist at Project SOS (Strengthening Our Students).
Rogers says it took many years of struggling through school for her to realize she had more to offer than what was on the outside.
"Once I started looking at the components that made me beautiful, outwardly things started to change and I really started to kind of use what made me beautiful on the inside and apply it on the outside. Then I didn't care what people thought," added Rogers.
Seven years ago Rogers joined Project SOS and started visiting schools to spread a message to stop the bullying. She connected with thousands of students. The project serves five counties and last year it addressed over 14,000 students.
"The most beautiful thing for me is to see that 'a-ha' moment; something that was maybe presented 100 different times, but it was said in a way where they were able to understand it to like 'I do have a choice'," said Rogers.
Rogers says there's a success story of one middle school student that sticks out to her.
A seventh-grader was being bullied by friends who wrote a list of all the things he had to change about himself.
"I said, 'let's put the list down and let's talk about what makes you amazing'," said Rogers.
She helped the student see he had an even longer list of positive qualities. A year later she saw him again and said he had turned into a confident young man and even won the election to be class president.
For more information on Project SOS click here.
First Coast News