Over the weekend, a 4-month old YouTube video caught some high profile attention, sending it viral, hitting over 3 million viewers (so far). Meet Jonah Mowry, an unlikely hero in his commitment to rising up.
When he filmed his heartfelt cry for help, Jonah was about to enter the 8th grade. He confessed to having endured harassment and verbal abuse since he was in the 1st grade, inflicting harm on himself as a coping mechanism since the 2nd grade and considering irreversible harm as, in his words, "Suicide was an option ... many times."
"But...," he added by flashing cards with his sentiments written on them, "I'm not going anywhere... Because I'm STRONGER than that and I have a million reasons to be here." He held on, and as time has proven, things did get better.
If things feel hopeless, there is always help. Trudging forward on blind faith has brought him freedom — aaaand a few famous followers who took the time to express gratitude toward his strong, positive, inspiring message. Among the tweets of support:
+ Lady Gaga: Thank you Jonah for being brave enough to share your story + showing us strength. You matter to millions. #TellYourStory #EndBullying
+ Ricky Martin: Sending @JonahMowryReal one big rib breaking hug :0) ! Stay strong buddy! You are 1 courageous young man!!! Remember #LoveConquersHate!
+ Jordin Sparks: JONAH you are LOVED! And so are the others out there who feel the same way! #staystrong #faith
The big shout-out, though, goes to Perez Hilton, who urged his fans, his celebrity friends and his media contacts to spread Jonah's message. He's become the teen's number one fan, and, most likely, vice versa. Perez even plans to fly Jonah out as a guest to his star-spangled birthday partay this spring, and is keeping readers updated with resources for hopeless youth who need reminders that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it does get better eventually and that bullying has never been less cool.
If you or a friend needs immediate help, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.