BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Brittney Hawkins is a walking testimony. She is a survivor of bullying.
The Ramsay High School freshman says it began in fifth grade and continued into middle school.
"The words got worse, the crowds got bigger," Hawkins recalls. "In seventh grade is when it got physical. They would push me down and throw bananas at me and call me a gorilla and stuff."
After enduring the torments alone for a while, she finally told her mom, but felt that didn't really help.
In ninth grade, she moved to a new school. At first things were good, but it wasn't long before the bullying started again.
This time she told no one and soon the bullying had her contemplating suicide.
"Stuff just kept happening and I kept thinking maybe it's my fault. Maybe I should take myself away from the problem and I thought taking my own life would be taking myself from the problem," Hawkins said.
At the last moment, she reached out to her mom. That led to her getting help.
It was during that time, she realized others were facing the same situations and just needed someone to talk to.
"Every now and then I would think, 'Maybe I can help. Maybe I should take me not saying something to say something.' I wanted to help other people, be their voice," Hawkins said.
That's when she created the Spread Love Not Hate Campaign. It's a safe place for teens to share what they're going through and find encouragement.
On Friday, Hawkins held an assembly at her school to let her classmates know about her campaign.
"I'm glad I didn't take my life. I'm glad I have a voice finally. At first I didn't, but now I do," she said, smiling.
Hawkins is trying to hold a larger anti-bullying rally at Linn Park soon. She is working on securing a 501C3 in hopes of getting financial support, but that will take a while. So Hawkins has started a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise the money.
If you'd like to donate, you can do so by visiting her #LoveNotHate GoFundMe page.