An eastern Iowa teenager is receiving a national award this weekend.
Seventeen-year-old Jake Stallman of Tipton is heading to Denver to receive the Spirit of Matthew Award from the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Shepard was tortured and murdered in 1998 because he was gay. His family started a foundation in his name to promote acceptance.
Jake started an anti-bullying coalition in his school. He is also a blogger on the Shepherd Foundation website. He’s very open in the blog, even sharing about the times he felt suicidal.
Jake wants teens to see the effects of bullying.
“I don’t want people to be scared but it’s the truth. The truth is scary sometimes,” says Stallman.
Matthew Shepard’s family will present the award to Stallman Saturday.