BUSHLAND, TX (KFDA) - Marcus Escobedo has a great reason to smile this week after students nationwide teamed up with kids from Bushland and Westover Park Jr. High in as well as a Dallas Fort Worth area school to stand by his side.
In January, Marcus' grandmother told us their story and asked for help after she said her 11-year-old grandson was being bullied at a Hereford school.
Students traveled from near and far to cheer Marcus on as he received a record breaking 1,182 letters from kids across the country reminding him to stay strong in the face of bullies.
"Those people who wrote it they know how it feels to be bullied and they want this to stop," said Marcus Escobedo.
The letters of support are part of the nationwide Be-A-Friend project, which aims to transform the lives of bullying victims through kindness.
One of the first program recipients told Marcus she still reads the letters daily.
"I feel like he's going to read the same thing so i feel like he's going to know someone is always going to be there for him too," said Mia Munoz, an Amarillo student who was one of the first recipients of the Be-A-Friend project.
Students from Lake Worth made a seven hour journey to stand beside the man of the hour.
"Seeing Marcus' reaction was so amazing. I don't really know how to describe it, it brought tears to my eyes," said Tristan Dore, the Texas F.C.C.L.A State Vice President of Projects who attends Lake Worth High School. "Don't ever give up, there's always somebody out there that loves you and is willing to support you in everything that you're going to do."
Marcus' grandmother, whose now home schools him, said he knows he is not alone and hopes his story can serve as a teachable moment.
"If they would come up to us and say we're sorry for what we did and this would teach them something, I would be okay with that," said Linda Guerrero, Marcus' grandmother.
Marcus said those friends who wrote him aren't just pen pals, they're pals for life who will join him in his message.
"It means that bullying needs to stop, no should be bullied ever," said Marcus.
To get involved with the Be-A-Friend project, click here.