"It's being brave and standing up to the bullies ... and standing up for yourself," says Ally Del Monte
Ally Del Monte was bullied her entire life for her weight, but in 8th grade she was pushed to a breaking point.
After getting into a fight with a popular girl, other girls began harassing her via text messages and phone calls.
“Then it moved onto school, where I would get spit on and kicked and pushed down stairs and shoved into lockers,” Del Monte, now 17, tells PEOPLE.
Del Monte escaped from her bullies through a private Tumblr blog that only her closest friends knew about – or so she thought. One day she logged onto her account to find 172 messages telling her to kill herself.
“That night I tried to commit suicide,” she says. “It was all those things kind of coming together at once, and feeling like no one really cared if I were gone, because I was being told that over and over and over again.”
Del Monte’s mother intervened before it was too late, and the teen slowly began getting her life back on track through therapy, medication for depression, songwriting and starting her blog, losergurl.com.
“I didn’t want anyone to ever feel the way I did, and I wanted to do something about it,” she says of starting her site. “I started writing about some of my experiences, and I started talking to people from all over the world. I would get messages from them, and I would help them by either actually talking them out of killing themselves, or sending them resources, like the suicide hotline for the area they were in, or tips on what to do when you’re getting bullied.”
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Del Monte – who will be speaking at this year’s We Day, airing on ABC on August 21 – is now encouraging everyone to join the fight against bullying with her #BeBrave movement.
“It’s being brave and standing up to the bullies, standing up for the people who are being bullied, and standing up for yourself,” she says of her movement.
“We can end bullying,” she continues. “Part of the reason people don’t do anything about bullying is because it’s not socially seen as cool thing to do, so people don’t do anything about it for fear that it’s going to be turned around on them. If you’re just brave, and try to make people see that bullying is not funny and it’s not cool, it will catch on.”