"You need to see the person for who they really are and not what they are on the outside," Mackinaw City Middle School student Mya Curth said.
Students just like Mya came from Mackinaw City, Indian River, Wolverine, and Cheboygan schools for one common reason. To stop bullying in their schools and communities.
"We're all people, we all deserve to be treated well and obviously if you know you would be hurting from it, you shouldn't be acting that way to others," Wolverine High School student Brandi Whittaker explained.
These students are part of a national anti-bullying program called Rachel's Challenge. Rachel Scott was the first person killed in the Columbine shootings, but her legacy was left behind in a journal. Her writings about treating everyone equally are what inspire these kids to change the culture in their schools.
"There's always those people that think that they're bigger than others so that they can take advantage of it, but I think that with Rachel's Challenge we can easily get into their mind that you know everybody is a person and no matter how big or small or color anything, it should all be the same," Whittaker said.
These students gathered today to come up with ideas on how to improve each districts culture. They are part of the 2.5 million kids each year that get advice from this program.
"We want to equip them with some tools and some strategies that they can use if they see bullying happening in their schools," Rachel's Challenge speaker Keyona Williams said.
P art of that stra t egy includes being positive, creating unity, and mentoring other students who might be struggling.