Phoenix woman honored for helping victims of bullying - WNEM TV 5

Phoenix woman honored for helping victims of bullying

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Carrie Severson is proud of her program that helps young girls survive the taunts of bullying. (Source: CBS 5 News) Carrie Severson is proud of her program that helps young girls survive the taunts of bullying. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Rinsley Phelps was bullied for years, but now believes "The Super Girl" program has helped her learn to cope with bullying. (Source: CBS 5 News) Rinsley Phelps was bullied for years, but now believes "The Super Girl" program has helped her learn to cope with bullying. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Carrie Severson knows all too well what it's like to bullied as a child.

Now, she's using her darkest days of the past to help support young victims, such as Rinsley Phelps.

"This girl is on fire," a happy Phelps sang.

But Phelps' outlook hasn't always been so positive: she's been bullied for years.

"It's, like, something new every single year. it feels like. It all started in kindergarten," Phelps said.

She said she has since learned how to cope, thanks to the "The Super Girl" program created by Severson through her nonprofit Severson Sisters.

"Our mission is to inspire girls to live their lives as their awesome, authentic super self," Severson said.

Severson Sisters has helped more than 900 girls in the Phoenix area by teaching them how to combat the shame, depression and self-hatred brought on by bullying.

"I founded Severson Sisters based on a personal experience," Severson said. "I was bullied as a girl. I had low self-esteem as a girl and I feel that if I had fundamental tools earlier in life that would have been different."

Severson was chosen out of thousands of applicants for the Characters Unite award by USA Network and Cox Communications and the $5,000 that comes with it.

Ask her how she feels about the award and she starts giggling.

"I'm, um, (laughs) … that's what happens," she said. "It's like a bubble of pink confetti. It's just a beautiful opportunity. It's a celebration."

Phelps agreed.

She's said she's glad her mentor is being recognized, and thankful for all she has learned.

"I learned just to be stronger and let things that people say just brush off my back and just try to ignore what they say and realize that I'm great, no matter what," Phelps said.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Phoenix woman honored for helping victims of bullyingMore>>

  • SIDEBAR: Anti-bullying links

    Thursday, March 21 2013 12:19 PM EDT2013-03-21 16:19:15 GMT
    SEARCH CBS5AZ.COM: Stories about bullying LINK: AZ anti-bullying initiative LINK: The Cyberbully Board Game LINK: Sears anti-bullying campaign LINK: Severson Sisters on Anti-bullyingMore >
    SEARCH CBS5AZ.COM: Stories about bullying LINK: AZ anti-bullying initiative LINK: The Cyberbully Board Game LINK: Sears anti-bullying campaign LINK: Severson Sisters on Anti-bullyingMore >
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