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UA student writes anti-bullying book inspired by young girl who took her life

Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 6:23 AM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A University of Alabama student is raising awareness about bullying, by spreading the word through a children’s book, she wrote to tackle it. It’s inspired by a young girl in Birmingham who took her own life a few years ago.

UA student Noelia Voight, who’s also Former Miss Collegiate America Alabama is the children’s author behind Maddie the Brave. 9-year-old Madison Whittsett committed suicide after being continuously bullied at her Birmingham school in 2018.

Although Maddie is the center and character for her book, this story is not about her tragic fate. Voight said she reached out to Whittsett’s parents to get permission to write a book using their daughter as the focus to help kids cope with bullying.

With their blessing, Voight says she wrote Maddie the Brave, an uplifting tale of courage and worthiness.

“You see her dreaming of being the Queen of Brave because Brave is the acronym that the Miss Collegiate Miss America system uses. It stands for building respect and values for everyone. When people hear the inspiration about making Maddie the main character, they think their kids are going to read about it and they are not. It shows a really good example about how young kids can handle those bullying situations at school,” said Voight.

The money raised from book sales goes to the Maddie Foundation. Email noeliavoigt5@gmail.com if you’re interested in getting a copy.

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