Facebook | Whitney Kropp

Teen Learns Her Homecoming Queen Nomination Was A Cruel Prank, But Gets Last Laugh

For many people, high school felt more like an endurance challenge than an enriching experience. Even if the teachers are fair and the grades are where a kid wants them to be (which are both fairly big "ifs"), there's still the matter of dealing with their fellow students.

And while an unfortunately large number of kids know the daily torment of bullies all too well, it is perhaps even more insidious when those bullies seem like they're finally letting their target have a happy moment, only to snatch it away at the last minute.

Fortunately, it seems like one community found a way to make that cruelty backfire.

When Whitney Kropp attended Ogemaw Heights High School in West Branch, Michigan, she described herself as an outcast.

Facebook | Whitney Kropp

As CNN reported, she had a small group of close friends, but never would have expected to be nominated as the female representative for her school's homecoming court.

So while she was pleasantly surprised when that happened, it all fell apart a few hours later when she learned she had been chosen as a prank.

Facebook | Whitney Kropp

That night, she tearfully contemplated suicide. In those dark moments, she said she didn't think that even her siblings cared about her.

To feel alone, unwanted, and rejected by everyone around you can be soul-crushing.

Unsplash | Aliyah Jamous

She told CNN, "I'm like, 'Wow, I feel like trash.' I feel like I'm a little thing that no one really cares about."

However, her family and friends proved to her beyond the shadow of a doubt that they did care.

Facebook | Whitney Kropp

Her sister, Alivia, encouraged her to take the nomination anyway, saying, "I told her ... you've got the courage, you've got the strength to go do it, so go do it and have fun."

It was with the help of her family that a movement began to formulate behind Whitney.

Facebook | Whitney Kropp

Because facing a prank nomination head-on is a daunting challenge, her support network helped out by starting a "Support Whitney Kropp" Facebook group, which ABC News reported gained 120,000 likes from people throughout the world.

As Whitney's story spread throughout the community, local businesses found their own ways to show their support.

Facebook | Whitney Kropp

According to ABC News a salon gave her a makeover for the big day, while other businesses pooled together a prom dress, jewelry, and anti-bullying T-shirts.

She also received an array of flowers, including from people as far away as California.

Unsplash | Annie Spratt

World travels fast when a good cause is afoot, and even faster with the internet. But the good news doesn’t stop there — Whitney wanted to use her experience to make a change.

She then accepted her nomination during halftime at a Friday football game.

Unsplash | Dave Adamson

Although her bullies likely expected her to receive either silence or taunts when they made the nomination, Whitney actually received a standing ovation as her father walked her down the field for the ceremony.

Moreover, even the opposing team held up signs and banners to encourage her.

Unsplash | Toa Heftiba

As Whitney told reporters during the event, "I'm surprised that the team that we are playing against is actually supporting me. Wow, that's overwhelming. Seriously, I have no words for this right now."

Whitney would not end up winning homecoming queen, but what she transformed her bullies' schemes into was a victory in and of itself.

The next evening would also see her riding a Hummer limo to the homecoming dance, which she told CNN that she and her boyfriend (not pictured) had been looking forward to all year.

Her story has already inspired others who were in similar situations, so she took a moment to share a special message.

She said, "Kids that are bullying you, do not let them bring you down. Stand up for what you believe in and go with your heart and go with your gut."

Whitney’s story garnered even more attention after she was on air with Ryan Seacrest discussing her experience, and she got the surprise of a lifetime.

During their interview, one of Whitney’s favorite artists, Adam Lambert, called in to have a chat with her.

“Oh my gosh, you don’t know how much I love your work. It’s inspirational to me,” she said in shock.

He later tweeted the radio host to thank him for the introduction. Way to go, Whitney!