At first glance, you can sense that there’s something special about Elayna Hasty. She’s confident, beautiful and poised. But you’d never know that once upon a time, the Miss Indiana hopeful and aspiring Miss America was teased and excluded as a kid.
“I was the new girl in school,” recalls Elayna, who is now 20 years old. “As soon as I walked into my homeroom, I was laughed at and mocked for something so simple as forgetting my gym shoes on the first day. That was only the beginning and it only got worse for me, as well as for one of my childhood friends.”
Elayna, like many young people, was bullied. But through it all, she learned many important lessons. Those lessons inspired her to create G.A.B. Girls (Girls Against Bullying).
She started the program in 2009 when she was only 9 years old. A decade later, she continues to run G.A.B. Girls, which is a movement that teaches people of all ages the importance of being a leader by standing up to bullying.
“We are a community of support as we encourage co-action, healthy self-esteem, and promote anti-bullying as well as suicide prevention,” Elayna said. “My motivation for founding G.A.B. Girls was to help my friend who was going through bullying and to empower others to stand up – not just for themselves – but others as well.”
In addition to running G.A.B. Girls, Elayna is a college student and reigning Miss Duneland 2022. The Miss Duneland competition is an official preliminary to the Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competitions.
Once she graduates with a bachelor’s degree, Elayna plans to attend law school. Her ultimate goal is to be a family attorney who works to help children who come from abusive households.
“I plan to continue G.A.B. Girls by furthering my reach nationally, as well as create more workshops tailored towards cyberbullying and suicide prevention,” she said.
Kudos to Elayna for using her platform to speak up and out against bullying. We wish her much success in her career and as she aims for the crowns!
Follow Elayna’s journey at:
Facebook: G.A.B. Girls (Girls Against Bullying Girls)