The recently crowned Miss Northern Nevada Counties Outstanding Teen
is using her painful bullying experiences of the past, along with her new success to create an anti-bullying campaign.
News Four caught up with Katarina Clark at an elementary school assembly in Caughlin Ranch where she had the students paying close attention to her message.
"If you guys have been bullied keep your hand up!"
15 year old Katarina Clark says it's easy for her to relate to kids who are bullied.
"So many kids out there do get bullied and I wanted to be the one to give the kids a voice, to shine and be themselves, come up from bullying because it's very hard."
Kat, as her friends call her was bullied in the 8th grade to the point of where she felt she had to change schools. Her sister became a victim too.
"It's hard for me knowing that I went through it and the pain I went through and then seeing my sister going through that as well, it hurts."
When Clark needed to come up with a platform or cause to support through her Miss Northern Counties Outstanding Teen, anti-bullying was at the top of her list.
She's calling it SHINE which stands for Saving Hearts by Inspiring, Noticing and Encouraging.
"I wanted to create a support group as well, so not only go to schools and talk to children, we talk a lot about our experiences of bullying.T
Those support meetings are held once a month and so far she's been to 3 elementary schools, sending out her message.D
During the assemblies, she talks about being bullied, what kids should do if they are victims and why it's critical to tell an adult they trust. She says her campaign is just taking off.
"Things have started, what I really want to get to going... once a week go to a different school, that's my plan. That's what I really really want to do."
Katarina is competing this summer in the Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen Pageant, but she says regardless of whether she moves on, she wants to continue her SHINE campaign.I
If you'd like to more she's created a Facebook page called "SHINE" and you can find a link below.