Bullied Gilbert girl recognized by First Lady Melania Trump for bravery

Posted at 7:38 PM, May 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-08 12:03:37-04

First Lady Melania Trump is recognizing a Gilbert girl for being brave after being bullied.

13-year-old Kalani Goldberg attended a White House event Monday for the launch of Mrs. Trump's "Be Best" initiative. The teen was seated just behind the president, as she was praised.

"Thank you, Kalani, for being brave enough to tell your story," Mrs. Trump said.  

Two months ago, Kalani's mom posted her video on Facebook featuring the eighth-grader as she placed post-it notes with the names bullies called her. She explained how the words weighed on her self-image.

"I am a sister, I'm a daughter, I am a person, and I have feelings," Kalani said in the video. 

The teen said she made the video as a therapeutic outlet, and it went viral online. 

"I've gotten letters from schools, or classes have sent me notes, handwritten notes, that I think says something about how it's impacted kids," Kalani said.

The teen now hopes to encourage others facing a bully's barrage, and she explains everyone matters. Kalani told ABC15 what she thinks the First Lady's Be Best initiative is all about. 

"To me, that means to be the best that you can be every day," she said. "To be kind, to have courage, say nothing but courageous words to other people, and to be polite and respectful at all times."