ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. - Fourteen year old Kennedy Thomas has faced some challenges in life, family problems and bullying.
Kennedy put some of those in an essay. "Just writing your experiences those are hard for me to write. I knew that other people went through what I went through and so I wanted to be able to help people."
And she's helping through an essay. In her essay she wrote, "I would like to say that violence is going to be a part of society for a very long time. Some people don't know how to cope with violence. Some have anger issues, addictions, etc."
Her essay also offers solutions-- accept people, go to an adult for help and don't give up. "When you go through hard times, you have to realize you are going to get through it because it's not going to last forever."
That essay is bringing her to Washington D.C. this weekend. She's won the "Do The Write Thing" award. It's a nationwide contest that challenges teens to find answers to youth violence and drawing on her own experience has led her to open up with others and appreciate her self worth.
"This is really crazy because I feel like such a rock star and I'm just a normal person who goes through like normal things," said Kennedy.
Kennedy designed a t-shirt after writing her essay. It says, "I'm a friend, not a fighter. Creativity is my outlet from violence. What's yours?"
Ten students in Palm Beach County are recognized. The top two, Kennedy Thomas and Michael Lesh will be going to Washington D.C. this weekend.