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El Paso County Colorado District 49

American Idol contestant to perform

On Aug. 17, Falcon School District 49 is holding a community-friendly anti-bullying concert. The concert, ìStand Up. Speak Out.î will be held at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs. Among the acts scheduled to perform is former American Idol contestant and current national spokeswoman for Hey U.G.L.Y., Devyn Rush.American Idol featured Rush as the ìsinging waitressî on season 10. ìThey came to the restaurant and did a whole feature on me,î she said. ìIt was so cool and so surreal.îRush said the show gave her a chance to tell her story of being bullied when she was younger. ìI was on a radio show for bully prevention, and rapper Brick Casey heard me and reached out to me,î she said. ìHe said that the founder of this organization (Hey U.G.L.Y) and I would be great together.î Rush said she jumped at the chance to be the national spokeswoman for the nonprofit group.Organized in 2002 and designated as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit in 2004, Hey U.G.L.Y stands for Hey ìunique gifted loveable you.î Rush said Hey U.G.L.Y aims to be part of the solution for bullying. ìWe want to build emotional awareness and self-love for students,î she said. ìOne of my mottos is that bullying is the cause of bullying. If youíre looking at the cyclical nature of bullying, then you need to start with the bullies. Teach them to love themselves.ìI was bullied really badly when I was in middle school. It was so hard because I was one of the kids who went home because of the bullying. I would tell the nurse I was sick. Looking back on that, I see that, yea, I was being bullied at school but I had to go home and be with myself ñ and I would bully myself. Everything they said to me one time, I said to myself 3,000 times. Sometimes, you canít get rid of the bully if the bully is you.îRush said that she often hears that bullying is inevitable; but, she said, ìThatís a major cop-out. It doesnít have to be. If kids are taught to be aware of things and observe rather than judge, it would happen a lot less.îAs a Pennsylvania native, Rush said she is excited to be heading to Colorado Springs for the first time. ìIím excited to be performing at Stand Up. Speak Out.,î she said. ìIím really happy to be involved.î

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