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Cool Kid Zach Payne stands up to bullies

January 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Zachary Payne is a "Cool Kid" who endured being bullied during his early years in school. Now, he works with students dealing with those same situations."School should be a place where you come to learn, have a good time and not where you're worried about having people that hate you ... because it is hate," says Zach. "We need to combat that a little, which is what I was trying to do."

Zach has written books to inspire and mentor students who are having similar problems. Zach says he has seen positive results.

"I'm glad, I'm really glad. It means I'm on the right course for my life and it's an affirmation that what I am doing is right ... and this is what I need to be doing," says Zach.

A teacher, who has known Zach since middle school, sees qualities that promise a bright future.

"He's got the biggest heart in the world. He's one of the brightest kids I've ever had," says Carol Weaver, Assistant Principal, Graves Middle School. "He's so compassionate and he doesn't put up with nonsense. He wants kids to be treated with respect."

No matter how tough some students have it, Zach wants to make sure they know there are better times ahead.

"Basically, the message is there's light out there. We have to embrace that light. We have to move towards it," says Zach. "We have to stop hurting each other, we have to stop hurting ourselves and we have to do our part to make the world a better place."

Zach, our "Cool Kid" brings students that brightness in their lives when they need it most.

Know a deserving young adult who should be one of the ABC7 Cool Kids? Share their story and nominate someone today.


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