Whitney Kropp was nominated for her school's homecoming court as a prank, but decided to stay on the court with her head held high - and the community rallying behind her.
What began as a cruel joke became an unforgettable experience.
"I'm so happy ... this is so much right now for me," Kropp said.
When she first learned her nomination was a joke orchestrated by bullies, Kropp says she felt "like trash" but after surveying her family and friends, she accepted it.
In turn, the West Branch, Mich., community rallied around the 16-year-old student at Ogemaw Heights High School. Area businesses donated her gown, shoes and hair styling.
A Facebook group titled "Support Whitney Kropp" currently has 126,134 likes with users from across the nation sharing their support with the bullied teen.
Despite the malicious deeds of a few kids, Kropp has nothing but praise for her school.
"The school is fantastic. They treated me so well here; I couldn't ask for me," she said.
When asked by reporters if she had a message for others who are bullied, she added:
"Just 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!"