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Thirteen year old Ashley Berry is a formerly shy, quiet girl who didn’t like speaking in front of people until she began looking for opportunities three years ago that allowed her to do just that. These days you can’t get her off stage or away from the camera! Ashley started competing in “natural” pageants (no makeup allowed) three years ago that helped improve her confidence and gave her a desire to go out into her community and make a difference. These days, there’s no telling where you’ll find her at any given time…on stage in a community play or talent competition, acting or modeling in front of the camera, volunteering for any number of organizations in the community, studying to keep her Honor Roll status, attending a club or after-school activity, or writing her latest article for BYOU “Be Your Own You” Self-Esteem Magazine for Girls.

Even in the midst of her whirlwind schedule balancing school and community activities, Ashley couldn’t escape the experience that many of today’s youth are being forced to endure. Along with the relative fame that comes with many of Ashley’s outside interests and activities came what is most often referred to as the “mean girl” syndrome. Suddenly, those closest to Ashley seemed to turn on her and her own life turned upside down as she spent the next two years battling depression and fear.

With the help of her family and teachers, Ashley gained the confidence to stand up for herself and others to help ensure that no one else go through what she did. Ashley is now a national anti-bullying advocate and openly shares her experiences in the media and through public appearance opportunities. In addition to receiving various state awards for her volunteer efforts, she has been recognized nationally as a recipient of the Teens Who Inspire Us award, as well as being featured on as a featured Inspirational Youth. Being a spokesperson for BYOU Magazine has also opened the door for Ashley to reach out to girls across the country so that she can encourage them to be proud of who they are and to just B-YOU!

For more information, please visit Ashley on Facebook

Today’s Brilliance from Ashley Berry

Bullying is a problem that affects too many people and it needs to stop. To those being bullied, know that it's ok to talk to someone: a parent, friend, trusted adult, teacher, sibling or anyone else that you feel safe with. Even if you're scared at first, it will pay off in the long run. I believe it's important for everyone to be themselves. Other people need to accept you for you and not someone you're trying to be. The world would be really boring if we were all alike, but think of how wonderful it is with so many…

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