AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A special guest delivered an important message to fourth and fifth graders at Austintown Intermediate on Tuesday: Spread kindness and prevent bullying.

Franki Moscato was bullied at school in seventh grade, but she says her experiences made her stronger.

“I love looking back and seeing how everything was supposed to be,” says Moscato.

At the age of 16, Moscato won the “Golden Ticket” on American Idol. Now 20, she has her own foundation which focuses on sharing messages about kindness and bullying prevention with younger generations.

“We are focused on addressing teen suicide,” Moscato says.

Moscato uses his gift of singing as an engaging way to talk with students.

“I love speaking in public and talking to kids about kindness, anti-bullying, and suicide prevention,” says Moscato.

Austintown Intermediate principal Angel Owens says it’s a special way to add to the bullying prevention the school teaches.

“It’s just another person in a different kind of mode of communication. Singing – where they can hear the same thing but just from another person. And sometimes you just have to touch them in a different way,” says Owens.

Moscato says the struggles we face in life are ways to make us better.

“Anxiety is supposed to build our character, and we come out of it stronger. And it’s like lifting weights – you can either crumble or recognize that you’re growing because of it,” she says.

According to Moscato, being able to uplift and inspire others is the greatest feeling.

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