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The story of a Michigan teen nominated to homecoming court as a cruel joke has captured the sympathy of supporters across the country, according to ABC News. 

On Friday night, Whitney Kropp–previously plagued with self-doubt–strolled onto the Ogemaw Heights High School football field and triumphed over the bullies that have tormented her since she started at the school. 

And though Kropp’s team won 24-21 reports The Detroit Free Press, the real victory was the teen’s decision to show up and shine. 

“Some people had come to Friday night’s game specifically for halftime, when Kropp joined the homecoming court,” the report goes on to say. Even the opposing team held banners supporting her. 

In The New York Daily News, Kropp has a message for other teens: “The kids that are bullying, do not let them bring you down…Stand up for what you believe in, and go with your heart and go with your gut. That’s what I did, and look at me now. I’m just as happy as can be!”

Kropp’s story calls to mind some famous literary wisdom from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess: “It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold,” main character Sara Crewe says, “but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.” 

As it was, Whitney Kropp wore red. 

Photo Credit: JARRAD HENDERSON/Detroit Free Press

Marissa is a senior at Bowdoin College, majoring in Government and minoring in English. She's interned with NPR, The Christian Science Monitor and ELLE.com. In her spare time she enjoys writing poetry, baking cupcakes, tweeting, and admiring the big dipper. She hopes to live in a lighthouse someday, with 27 cats and a good set of watercolors.
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