Idol alum talks to local teens about bullying - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Idol alum talks to local teens about bullying

Devyn Rush takes pictures with her fans Devyn Rush takes pictures with her fans

Galliano, La. -- Devyn Rush knows how intimidating the audience can be.

Before she sang for more than 500 teens at South Lafourche High School, Rush auditioned for one of the country's biggest titles, American Idol.  But nothing intimidated the former "Singing Waitress" more than middle school.

"I was made fun of because I was really scrawny and I had like buck teeth," says Rush. "Most of all, just didn't love myself and didn't think that I was enough and I was an easy target because I had a low self-esteem."

A lot changed in the 10 years since that time, and now the 22-year-old singer tours the country with the anti-bullying group Hey U.G.L.Y. 

U.G.L.Y. stands for Unique Gifted Lovable You.

Rush talks to teens about the heartache she experienced in middle school, and through songs that get kids up on their feet, she hopes to spread the message, "I am enough."

"The songs that I sing in the schools are specifically geared toward bullying or emotional awareness," she says. "There's something in it for everybody."

Bullying can happen at any age and at any school. Teens in Lafourche Parish know all too well how serious it can get.

Many of the students at South Lafourche High School were classmates of Justin Doucet, who in 2009 shot at a teacher and then killed himself at Larose-Cutoff Middle School.  The 15-year-old boy called himself an outcast and students say he'd been bullied online.

Now a senior in high school, Jake Lee says the shooting made him realize bullying comes in all forms and it takes compassion to combat it.

"He's obviously hurting somewhere, that's why he's bullying and that's what Devyn Rush said and that kind of clicked with me," says Lee. "So don't be judgmental of him because he's bullying but say I forgive you, because you're bullying but I hope you know that what you're doing in wrong."

Rush poses for dozens of pictures after her concerts and while she loves performing in front of the big crowd, it's this intimate moment she treasures.  Teens come up with tears in their eyes.

"That's when I know that I really, they got me with tears in my eyes, so they got to me," says Rush. "I hoped that I helped somebody today."

For more information on the organization, go to

Powered by Frankly