Bridgeport special needs teen recognized for standing up against bullies

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BRIDGEPORT -

A Bridgeport teen with special needs was honored Saturday for how he has handled bullies and how he has inspired others in similar situations.

Charlie de los Santos says he was singled out for his struggle to overcome bullying.

The 13-year-old says at one point, he was so overcome by all of the negativity, that he became suicidal.

He says he ended up in a psychiatric hospital where the doctors and counselors were able to give him so much help, that he eventually turned things around.

In fact, de los Santos's mom says he's such an intelligent, sensitive and compassionate young man that he ended up helping the other young people who were in the hospital with him.

De los Santos was recognized by state and local leaders, along with the Faces of Beauty modeling team, for his tenacity and dedication in battling bullying, and becoming a role model for other young people struggling with similar issues.

"Charlie de los Santos has beaten the odds, but he's also beaten the bullies and he has shown what it means to be brave and strong even at a young age," Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.

De los Santos says he knows what is really important in life: family, friends and the simple joys that make everything worthwhile.

"Nobody has to feel sorry," he says. "I am who I am. I like who I am, that's it."

 

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