11/04/2011 10:10 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Most Surreal Day Of My Life

The days following my TeenNick HALO Hit were a blur. I couldn't believe what had happened. After Nick Cannon presented me with the HALO Award, I wrote a journal entry that, as I was writing, morphed into what I would tell any young person wanting to make a change in the world.

August 11, 2011

Yesterday was a crazy, whirlwind day; it was the most surreal day of my life.

Were the events that took place yesterday the reason I started a non-profit and work countless hours to help raise teen-esteem? No, they genuinely weren't. But it was still something I dreamed of happening for longer than I can even remember.

Yesterday, TeenNick came to my internship at Seventeen Magazine to film -- what I was under the impression of -- a feature for Nickelodeon about an anti-bullying organization. As it turns out, the crew, which was comprised of about 30 people (cameramen, producers, light directors) all came to surprise me.

Their surprise consisted of a $10,000 check presented to me by Nick Cannon for and a HALO Award. Not only was a large Nickelodeon crew there to solely to surprise me, but also a majority of the Seventeen staff was on board during the filming to show their support. I hold back tears every time I think about the love that was directed towards me yesterday -- priceless.

One question can't escape my mind: Emily-Anne, how did this all happen to you? So few people ever experience a surprise that massive. Many people were involved in orchestrating that surprise, so how could it all have been for me?

And the simple -- and true -- answer is, "I don't know." Frankly, I don't know. But there are some things I do know... I know I persevered: when situations got complicated, I continued. I know I had faith: when it seemed like nothing was coming together, I believed. I know I loved: when others approached, I was open. I know I took risks: when things were uncertain, I was brave. And most of all, I know I dreamed: when something seemed impossible, I convinced myself it was possible.

My story, through "Schmiddlebopper" to WeStopHate to the mentors who guide me, will remain my story. The way things came together, the way things didn't come together, the way opportunities revealed themselves, and the way opportunities didn't reveal themselves, those will remain unique to my journey. That doesn't mean, however, that your journey can't be equally as amazing. Yes, it will be different, but it can be just as joyous, fun, touching, exciting, and as fulfilling as mine. And I wish it is -- I wish it to be all the things that make up your dreams.

So my advice is simple: let believing that your dreams can come true motivate you to take action and go out into this world with gusto and love and faith.