Nightly News   |  October 20, 2013

Teen goes from bullied to brave by speaking out

One teen decided he no longer could suffer in silence and now helps other kids who are bullied. NBC’s  Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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>>> finally, our making a difference report is about a remarkable young man who tushld adversity into a force for good. he was bullied but found instead of suffering silently, he could do something positive to help others. kristin dahlgren on how he is making a difference.

>> reporter: looking at jacob today, you would never know just a year ago, the high school junior wanted to everybond his life.

>> a day in and out battle. i was bullied because i was fat and then because i was gay.

>> reporter: he hid the bullying from his family but his mom knew something wasn't right.

>> he became more angry. he was more withdrawn. he would not really talk to me that much.

>> reporter: until one particularly bad day at school.

>> that's when he broke down. he said mom, i'll getting picked on at school. it was so severe that he wanted to take his life.

>> reporter: she took her concerns to the school board . when the bullying didn't stop, she and jacob took mat enters into their own hands themselves started tipton against kids being bullied. a group offering advice and resources to kids.

>> there is a support system. they can meet other kids to establish friendships.

>> reporter: soon jacob and his mom started hearing from people outside their small town.

>> all these people are having their own fights along with me having my own fight. that is when i i said, we can do this.

>> since we have started this, the school system incorporated an anti-bullying program.

>> reporter: last week he was given an award from the matthew sheppard foundation.

>>> this award has opened my eyes on how much my story is helping other people.

>> to say i'm proud of him doesn't even come close to what i'm actually feeling inside.

>> reporter: a boy who once thought he wanted to die now living with the pretty impressive goal.

>> i want to be activist. i want to do something to change america.

>> reporter: nbc news.