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."
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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