After I read Emily's Facebook post, I contacted her and she has graciously agreed to contribute as a Guest Blogger on my website. I would like to thank Emily very much for her service and her contribution to my effort to help end cyberbullying. She inspires me not only with the hard work and dedicated service she has given all year, but also for her valuable perspective on getting to know a person before you judge them.
by Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen, Emily Krejci
There are people in this world who seem untouchable. Whether it's someone simple like the girl who sits next to you in class or a celebrity, these people hold their heads to a certain degree that could be considered arrogant but also admirable. These are the people who some assume could never be hurt by the words spoken about them, the ones who seem to never be phased by anything that crosses their paths. But I can tell you that it is quite the contrary, I am both of those things: the girl in class and a "celebrity" of sorts and words have hurt me in every way possible- not even my crown could protect me.
In my time as Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen, I have gotten opportunities to speak with State Senators, thank veterans for their service, meet with children in hospitals, and compete for Miss America's Outstanding Teen. I do these things, along with much behind-the-scenes work, on the weekends and then I come to school and catch up on things missed- doing even more work. My achievements do not come easy and for those that recognize it, I am forever grateful. However, there were people in school who decided that since they didn't understand pageants and what it is I do that they would taunt me about it. For all the work I was doing, I went to school and was met with the same dumb jokes for the entire day. Certain people would comment on EVERY one of my photos on social media, just to tease me further when they saw me in class the next day. They started to wear me down. I was tired, worn-out, and just over the entire thing. However, I wrote a post about the situation and how I decided to stand up for myself and put it on my Instagram and Facebook pages. Little did I expect, the post blew up. It now has about 75,000 views and almost 300 shares, The comments started to roll in; People from around the country were telling me how they are going through the same thing, or how they will show this to a relative who may need to know they aren't alone. These comments all reminded me of how lucky I am to be in the position I was in and have the opportunities I did, whether people at my school acknowledged it or not. Nowadays, after I made the post, I hardly hear a joke about what I do. Knowing that I have support and love back home has made me so much more confident in what I do and proud of who I am.
This whole experience has truly opened my eyes to things I never really thought about before. For, you see, whenever I tell people in the Miss Ohio Program this story of how I was being treated in school they act very shocked to hear it. Because, to them, my achievements are important and highly noted. How could anyone ever belittle Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen? They never thought the girl who stands before them and delivers speech after speech, sings song after song with such an aura of confidence could ever be hurt by words. I was one of those untouchable people to them. So, I am here to remind you that words hurt. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you do, the words spoken to you or about you will break down any walls that you have put up. It will make you look at all of your flaws with a magnifying glass. Do not justify the things you speak because they are just "behind someone's back". Do not belittle something someone likes or is proud of. Do not forget that we all sleep under the same moon at night and want the same things in life. Even if you do not consider yourself anywhere near a bully, remember that we all have room to grow when it comes to kindness.
So, think about that untouchable person that you see every day and challenge yourself to reach out to them, maybe with a smile as you walk past them in the halls or a compliment. You never know who may really need a friend or to know that someone is there for them in that moment. Be that person and together let's all get rid of the hate, on and offline.
Emily Krejci was crowned Miss Ohio's Oustanding Teen in June of 2015. Besides traveling the state for that, Emily is an active member of her high school drama program and is Vice President of their International Thespian Society Troupe as a sophomore at North Royalton High School. Emily is on track to graduate high school with honors and, as of right now, plans to pursue a degree in either Drama or Political Science.