TAMPA, Fla. — Going back to school isn’t always a welcomed experience for every student. For some, it’s a return to being bullied.
So there is a nonprofit organization that’s using the magic of movies as a way to fight back in a positive way.
Brianna Nickle isn’t just a Tampa teen, unfortunately, she’s also a statistic. One in five students in the United States are bullied during the school year.
“Being pushed and called names, there were times where there were things written about me in the bathroom stalls,” said Nickle, who said it made her feel lonely, like she didn’t matter.
That’s when Brianna was introduced to Sean Roberts, the founder of Amrak.
“Amrak is karma spelled backward and we want you to take the negativity and turn it around to something positive,” said Roberts.
Roberts has brought together children and teens from across the state who have been bullied and put them into film projects.
“I have this passion simply because I was bullied in the entertainment industry,” said Roberts. “We have a project out there that can help you make the right decisions and to do better and to be better.”
Brianna landed a starting role in Amrak’s latest project, “My New Family.” Each film addresses varying examples of bullying and healthy ways to respond.
“What we are showing and sharing is to be compassionate and understanding, let's have a dialogue, let's communicate, let's heal each other,” said Roberts
“With Amrak, I feel that I’ve become a better person, I love myself more, I value myself more, and I met an amazing group of people,” said Nickle.
One of the biggest surprises for Brianna is that most bullies are actually being bullied themselves.
“Sometimes if they bully you it's not necessarily something you’ve done but rather what’s going on in their lives and they don’t have a way to express that,” said Nickel.
Brianna has even taken to social media, using the platform as a way to connect with other kids who have gone through similar circumstances. She said the response has been overwhelming.
“‘Thank you so much, you’ve helped me so much, you are the reason I’m still alive,’ which means a lot to me because it's something I always wanted to do is help people," said Nickle.
For more information on Amrak, go to Amrak.com.