Miss Arkansas to inspire others through personal bullying experience
The new Miss Arkansas has a bright future but not long ago she says she was a victim of bullying. Every year thousands of kids are bullied and 23-year-old Amy Crain was among them.
Last night she picked out 44 other contestants as Miss Arkansas 2013. But just a few years ago Crain was picked on.
"It started with cyber bullying and it escalated into more serious issues," said Crain.
At the age of 16 the Hot Springs native says classmates started teasing and sending her crude messages. It eventually lead to death threats.
"I've been talking to kids about the experiences I went through, personally, with bullying," she said.
But Crain's experience is growing more and more common. One in four teens is bullied nationwide. And on any given day as many as 160,000 kids don't attend school because the bullying is so severe. The effects on self esteem can run deep.
"Standing in front of you as Miss Arkansas and talking about what I've gone through and moments where I've been really questioning my self esteem and questioning myself as a person and questioning my physical appearance," she said.
And so with her new crown and title Crain says comes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"All of the confidence that you gain and the opportunities that come to really serve other people," said Crain.
She says it's a chance to let victims of bullying know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
"Hopefully they can say you know I feel that way. I'm going through those same things but look at her this is what she wanted to do and she accomplished it and she didn't let that stop her," she said.
This is Crain's platform for her year as Miss Arkansas. She goes on to compete for Miss America September 15th.