Julia Roberts feels honoured to be a “mascot” for anti-bullying efforts. The 46-year-old actress and mother-of-three and her husband Daniel Moder were recipients of the Humanitarian Award this year at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Respect Awards.
'To see young people who are so brave and so well spoken and so heroic in the hallways of school, I'm so impressed'
Julia is profoundly moved by the accolade, as curbing harassment at schools is an issue she holds close to her heart.
"For me it's an honour and a joy," she told ET Online on the red carpet of the GLSEN ceremony. "To see young people who are so brave and so well spoken and so heroic in the hallways of school -- a place where I was kind of a shrinking violet -- I'm so impressed.
"I just feel like I'm kind of their mascot and happy to be, [and] to come and give a little bit of a louder voice to that which they deal with every day.”
Dancing with the Stars’ Derek Hough, who is Julianne Hough’s brother, was also an attendee at the event.
He grew up in Utah before travelling the world learning and teaching choreography.
Derek won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography last year, but his recent professional triumphs are a far cry from what he experienced as a kid.
"I had some neighbours who pretty much tormented my family," he revealed. "It wasn't great and we ended up having to move because it got so bad."
But being involved in dance saved him from feelings of alienation.
Derek feels grateful for the medium, as he discovered refuge from pain by moving his body.
"I found dance and it gave me like a purpose," he said. "It gave me a focus and a motivation.”
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