At 11 years old, Autumn Smith is resilient. Like Empowered Flower Girl’s Rasheda Kamaria Williams, she is a survivor of bullying, which she’s endured since kindergarten.
Despite being alienated and feeling lonely at times, deep down Autumn knew she wasn’t alone.
“I didn’t want people who were being bullied like me to feel alone. I wanted them to understand that if we stood together then maybe we could get others to listen and things change,” Autumn said.
And change things is what she did.
Autumn used her experience and creative abilities to develop a line of empowering t-shirts. With assistance from her mom, she designed the shirts which come in several colors with messages like “Bullying Stops Here” and “Kindness is My Rebellion.”
“When I (made my first shirt), it made me feel stronger. Like I was being heard for the first time in a long time,” she said. “I wanted to share that feeling with my friends. Then I wanted to share it with the whole school.”
Autumn spent the summer raising funds to pay for 600 shirts, which she sold and gifted to students and families in her community and beyond.
“She is a very determined kid and has had some amazing supporters along the way,” according to her mother Cynthia.
“She has done some pretty scary things for a kid her age but she fights through it because she wants to make the change. She feels that strongly about ending bullying.”
Learn more about Autumn and her Stopping Bullying One Shirt at a Time initiative on Facebook.
Know a girl or young woman 5-25 years old who deserves recognition? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Parental consent required for anyone under 18 years of age.