hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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November 8, 2012

She's fighting back against bullies

8th grader's award-winning poster shows risks of taunting

(Continued)

Michaela has seen how bullying affects other children. Recently, her younger brother came home upset because he had been bullied. Michaela decided to use her poster to educate one of the bullies who hurt her brother.

“I showed them the poster and told them how much it can hurt people,” she said of bullying. “I said, ‘This is what happens every day to people’ and they started to understand how I felt.”

For winning the contest, Michaela received a $100 gift certificate to the Essex Art Center in Lawrence which can be used for art lessons or purchasing art supplies. She is an aspiring artist who hopes to attend the Rhode Island School of Design and eventually become a fashion designer.

“She’s a wonderful girl,” said Porter, her art teacher. “I’m proud of her for winning this award.”

Porter said the contest was open to middle school students across the Merrimack Valley. Michaela was chosen as one of 20 finalists for the award and then attended a function at Greater Lawrence Technical High School, where she was named the winner. She also got to meet Miss Massachusetts Taylor Kinzler.

Michaela is proud of the award, but the bigger achievement is helping to prevent bullying, she said.

“I hope some bullies can see my poster and see how people actually react to bullying,” she said.

“Then they may just stop bullying.”

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