Gilbert teen invited to DC for first lady's 'Be Best' debut

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Kalani Goldberg was invited to the White House after her anti-bullying video went viral. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Kalani Goldberg was invited to the White House after her anti-bullying video went viral. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Kalani was in the audience as First Lady Melania Trump launched her 'Be Best' campaign. (Source: Jared Goldberg) Kalani was in the audience as First Lady Melania Trump launched her 'Be Best' campaign. (Source: Jared Goldberg)
She toured some of the monuments after the event at the White House. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) She toured some of the monuments after the event at the White House. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
WASHINGTON (3TV/CBS 5) -

Once the target of bullies, now a Gilbert girl is getting personal invitations to meet the president and first lady. 

Thirteen-year-old Kalani Goldberg's plea to stop bullying went viral earlier this year. She says her video was just a way to get her feelings off her chest. 

"Ugly, stupid, dumb, these are just a few of the things you call me," Kalani said in her video. "Every day it hurts, every day you are hurting me." 

[READ MORE: Gilbert teen's emotional plea to stop bullying goes viral]

She used Post-it notes to show how insults can stick to a person. 

"I don't want to wear your words anymore,' she said to the camera while sitting in her family's living room. 

When the video started gaining attention, she was shocked. The eighth-grader was even more excited when she got a personal invitation to fly out to Washington D.C.

"I wasn't really expecting it to go too far, and I certainly never expected to be invited to the White House. But here I am," Kalani said through FaceTime on Monday afternoon. 

Earlier in the day, Kalani was in the audience as First Lady Melania Trump launched her 'Be Best' campaign.

The first lady's efforts concentrate on three areas she says kids face today: physical health, opioid abuse and social media.

"It is our responsibility as adults to educate and remind them that when they're using their voices, whether verbally or online, they must choose their words wisely and speak with respect and compassion," Trump said in a speech debuting the program. 

The first lady even mentioned Kalani and her powerful video. 

"Thank you Kalani for being brave enough to share your story and also for using your experience to bring positive change," she said. 

"It's really overwhelming. I'm actually honored that I'm helping make a difference from just this one video that really was just me putting my feelings out there. I think that's really impactful and it really changes the way I look at things now," said Kalani. 

Kalani's father, Jared Goldberg, accompanied her to D.C. The pair toured some of the monuments after the event at the White House. 

"I'm so proud of her and it's amazing for her to get this opportunity at 13 years old. Incredibly, incredibly proud of her," said Goldberg. 

Kalani says the bullying at school has gotten better. She says the best part is all the letters she's gotten from other students about how her video has helped them.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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