*at 18, Keke Palmer is a young actress but with big dreams.

She’s decided to use her acclaim to help bring awareness to the bullying “epidemic” among youth around the country.

She teamed with the YMCA and Saving Our Daughters to help fight the issues of bullying and abuse among young people, especially because she’s experienced abuse herself.

“I was a victim of a bully when I was 8 years old, some kids in my class made fun of me because my hair was very curly and hard to manage,” said Palmer. “I am 18 years old and still, I remember it was painful, to be different, to have an illness like Little Iliss, to be different from the crowd for any reason can make you a target of a bully.”

Now she’s determined to get the message out there and generate unity among youth.

“We are so excited about having such an extraordinary singer & actress as Keke Palmer, to address these issues of bullying & abuse worldwide with the YWCA USA and with both our missions,” said Curtis Benjamin,  CEO of Saving Our Daughters.