Danielle McCarthy, KWQC
TIPTON, Iowa (KWQC) - Seventeen-year-old Jake Stallman of Tipton, Iowa will receive the Spirit of Matthew Award from the Matthew Shepard Foundation this weekend for overcoming bullying and embracing who he is.
Jake says he was bullied in school after announcing he was gay in the seventh grade.
Over the years, he says the bullying escalated from teasing to a death threat. Looking for a way to cope with it all, Stallman turned to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
It's an organization that aims to support gay people across the country and now the organization is presenting an award to Stallman for overcoming the bullies and embracing who he is.
It took stepping out of his comfort zone for 17-year-old Jake Stallman to become the first male cheerleader in Tipton High School history.
"It was one of the hardest choices I had to make," Stallman said. "I didn't want to be like put back into bullying."
Read more at KWQC.com.